URBANDALE, Iowa - When Linda Heinrich sat down with Dr. Eric Barlow at Compass Clinical Associates for the first time, she was hoping to finally be cured of her clinical depression. She had tried many different medications, but to no avail.
That's when Dr. Barlow recommended she try a relatively-new treatment called transcranial magentic stimulation - or TMS.
"He said, 'Trust me,'" she said.
Heinrich says today she's glad she did trust Dr. Barlow; the treatment, which sends electro-magnetic pulses to the brain, can increase important chemicals that fight depression - without the assistance of medications.
"We have, for the first time, the ability to target a specific area of the brain, and actually modulate the effects of these neurons that are releasing these chemicals in the brain that we're trying to increase with the medicines that we use to treat depression," Dr. Barlow said.
The treatment, approved by the FDA in 2008, is slowly making its away around the country. The technology Dr. Barlow uses at Compass Clinical Associates in Urbandale - called "Brainsway," was approved by the FDA in 2013. Dr. Barlow says his team is the first in the state of Iowa to offer it.
"It's convenient," he said.
The non-invasive treatment only lasts about 20 minutes. A normal treatment plan involves one session per day, five days a week, for about a month. Then, just a few visits per month for the next several months gets you all the "maintenance" work you'll need. Dr. Barlow says his patients are expressing incredible results, and Heinrich echoes that sentiment.
"Have the courage, and the strength, to reach out for help, because this works," she said. "And people who are truly suffering from depression don't need to anymore."
For more information on TMS therapy, visit Compass Clinical Associates.