New machine treats depression without using drugs - WNEM TV 5

New machine treats depression without using drugs

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Millions of Americans of all ages suffer from various forms of depression and for many medication was the only method of treatment, until now.

A non-drug treatment is now being offered for patients who see side effects from medication, or for those who find the pills just don't work.

"I was so depressed and felt like I was in a funk and I didn't want to live like that anymore," said Kristie Melodia, patient.

Melodia struggled for years with depression. She tried drug after drug, trying to find something that would make her feel excited to live once again. She found it recently, but it wasn't thanks to some drug. She said it's all because of a machine.

"It was like I woke up and all of a sudden it was like 'Oh my gosh. I love life. I love live.' I could see the clouds were clearer, the sun was brighter, everything was just wonderful," Melodia said.

The machine is a Neuro Star Transcranial Magnetic Therapy machine, also called TMS.

The Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland is the first facility in the Great Lakes Bay Region to offer this kind of therapy.

"It is a non-invasive treatment. Patients are awake and alert,"Dr. Marina Bogdanovic said.

Bogdanovic frequently uses the machine on patients. She said it works by using magnetic pulses to trigger emotion sensors in your brain.

"So by applying the magnetic field, similar to that of an MRI machine, we stimulate the under-active areas of the brain," she said.

The treatments are typically short sessions - five times a week for four to six weeks.

If you want to use the treatment, prepare to pay out of pocket. Many insurance providers don't cover the cost.

"Unfortunately, it's still not as easily accessible as we would like. Different insurances have different protocols for coverage," Bogdanovic said.

Melodia said the treatment doesn't hurt per se, but she can definitely feel it when it happens. To her, something that works this well is all worth it.

"I just feel so amazing after the treatment. I just, it makes me want to cry because I get so emotional about how this has literally saved my life," Melodia said.

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