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Medicare will cover NeuroStar® TMS treatment for depression

Treatment offers hope to the 40 percent of depressed patients who do not respond to drugs or psychotherapy

Nov 20, 2012, 2:45 p.m.
Scott West, M.D. Varallo Public Relations

— NeuroStar® TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Therapy for the treatment of depression will be available to more patients thanks to a recent decision to cover TMS treatments under Medicare effective Dec. 1, 2012 announced Scott West, M.D., the Nashville psychiatrist who pioneered TMS treatment in Tennessee. TMS is an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of depressed patients who have not received adequate benefit from other antidepressant treatments.

"As an approved treatment under Medicare, TMS will now be available to more patients, giving them the hope of living a life free of depression," said Dr. West, the first medical practitioner in Tennessee to offer the therapy. He has been treating patients with TMS since 2010.

The decision by Medicare to cover NeuroStar® TMS treatment follows announcement of findings in a study of TMS released in September 2011 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study showed patients treated with TMS had an average decrease in the severity of their depression of more than five points on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. A three-point difference is considered clinically meaningful.

"The findings in this study mirror the positive results experienced by patients I have treated with NeuroStar® TMS," said Dr. West. Since 2010, he has provided more than 1,000 NeuroStar® TMS treatment sessions; 78 percent of the patients treated by Nashville TMS have demonstrated remission of symptoms. All patients have indicated benefit from acute treatment. For more information, visit www.NashvilleTMS.com.

Approximately five percent of adults in the United States suffer from major depression in a given year and as many as 40 percent of them don't get adequate relief from psychotherapy or drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal article, "A New Approach to Treating Intractable Cases of Depression," published on Oct. 21, 2008. The article profiled NeuroStar® TMS.

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