Alaska doctor uses non-invasive method to treat depression patients
WASILLA, Alaska (NBC News) —
State statistics show Alaska has the highest rate of suicide per capita in the country.
More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have depression or another diagnosed mental or substance abuse disorder, according to the American Association of Suicidology.
While there are multiple forms of treatment for depression, one Alaska doctor is using a non-invasive method for patients who are considered medication-resistant.
Dr. Cheryl Hodges treats patients at TMS Center of Alaska and uses two different machines for a method of treatment known as Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation.
"In a depressed person, the brain isn't firing appropriately. It's not active it's not releasing adequate amounts of neurotransmitters. It's not utilizing glucose and oxygen, so with TMS we literally make the brain fire and we do that by introducing the magnetic energy," Dr. Hodges said.
The Neurostar and Brainsway FDA-approved machines use MRI-strength magnets to deliver pulsed magnetic fields to the area of the brain involved in depression.