Through the weekend of May 12th of this year our Director of Specialty Services, Michelle, and an administrator in our Specialty Services division, Mike, attended the annual Clinical TMS Society conference in Chicago, Illinois. Michelle and Mike were fortunate enough to hear lectures from prominent individuals such as Dr. Anthony Barker, the father of modern-day TMS, and Dr. Leo Chen, a clinician furthering the adoption of Accelerated TMS. This group of over 600 extraordinary clinicians and providers meet annually to share new and exciting information relating to TMS and to further the development and application of this miraculous technology.
The conference discussed advances in psychedelic medications for various afflictions like Major Depressive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. While many of these medications are still months, if not years, away from being FDA approved, Spravato, is a currently FDA-approved psychedelic medication that we use here at Island Psychiatry to help those suffering from Treatment Resistant Depression as well as suicidal ideation. Another lecture provided the truly astonishing statistic describing just how infrequent seizures are during TMS treatment, citing 0.25 instances of seizures in every 10,000 sessions. This frequency is orders of magnitude smaller than was previously believed and lends itself to the overwhelming safety record of TMS.
One of Michelle and Mike's biggest takeaways from this conference was discovered during a small breakaway lecture from Dr. Leo Chen. Dr. Chen is a TMS clinician located in Australia who recently published a groundbreaking study providing evidence for the clinical use of Accelerated TMS. Accelerated TMS is a type of transcranial Magnetic Stimulation that uses higher-frequency, more intense bursts of magnetic pulses, known as the Theta Burst protection, in a shorter amount of time to more efficiently activate the targeted region of the brain. Additionally, this allows patients to receive multiple treatment sessions per office visit, providing advantages over regular TMS in regards to scheduling. This results in a reduction of the number of office visits from 36 down to just 9 days of service.
One of the most important aspects of Dr. Chen's study is that his TMS equipment did not utilize a neuronavigation center of stimulation. The lack of neuronavigation in this study is a vitally important point to note because previously the Accelerated TMS protocol had only been shown effective with the use of neuronavigation. This study shows that non-neuronaviagted TMS machines, like the MagVenture machine we employ here at Island Psychiatry, can be just as effective as their more complex counterparts, without the need for costly and time-consuming neuronavigation and associated fMRI.
"Attending this conference was an amazing learning opportunity for us as a company," Michelle said. "Meeting and listening to all of these amazing clinicians provide incredibly useful and pertinent information has motivated us to push our own limits with the care we offer our patients" she continued. As we continue to care for and help our clients by every mean possible, look for Island Psychiatry to remain at the forefront of specialty treatments from TMS to psychedelics and beyond