New medical treatment for mental health at St. Luke’s Hillside Clinic

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St. Luke’s Hillside Clinic is now using a new medical treatment to help people struggling with mental health issues. The treatment is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This non-invasive procedure stimulate parts of the brain while experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues.

Dr. Nathan Chan, a Psychiatrist for St. Luke’s Hillside Clinic said people experiencing little to no success with medication can try TMS. “Patients often choose TMS for a handful of reasons. One, it tends to have fewer side effects. There’s no anesthesia and it’s effective,” Dr. Chan said. “We find that on average it’s probably a little bit more effective than medication. It’s generally reserved for patients who are treatment resistant. So who have had limited success with medications or therapy.”

Dr. Chan said that the treatment takes only a few minutes, but there’s no permanent long-term side effects with TMS. “What a magnetic field does is it can induce an electric current to our brain operates on neurotransmitters in electrophysiology. So we’re actually activating a part of the brain by doing that,” Dr. Chan said. “We know that with neuro imaging techniques, we’re able to find parts of the brain that tend to be underactive in most patients who have depression.”

People experiencing mental health issues like depression and anxiety can try the new medical treatment, although they need to be 18+ years old. “At its core, things like depression, like anxiety, It’s a physical illness. It’s an illness of the brain. I don’t think you can really separate the mind as a separate entity,” Dr. Chan said.

Brent Lindahl, a Duluth resident and patient of Dr. Chan’s, also talked about his mental health struggles. “I was offered TMS and it just it works. About two weeks into it, I started to notice everything lighten up a little bit and I’m not on any antidepressants right now. I’m not even on anything anti-anxiety right now,” Lindahl said.

“This is a great thing for people that need this. It took me a lot of trials with different medications and not much really actually worked,” Lindahl said. “I made a commitment to myself and my family that I was going to search everything I possibly could to help remedy how I was feeling. I think I’ve found it.” After 8 weeks of treatments Lindahl said that he no longer needs anti-depressants. He’s also able to focus more on helping his family.

For more information about the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation you can look here. However, for other stories involving mental health you can look here.