Correctional Medical Care's Mental Health Tech Week IV
Mental Health Technology
A note from Correctional Medical Care:
For the past few weeks on CorrectionalMedicalCare.net, we’ve
decided to use this platform to outline and highlight recent and ever
evolving methods of mental health care.
The topic of technological advancements can polarize an audience;
some believe that with each step forward technology takes comes a
coinciding step forward for mankind. Others believe that we’ve
become too reliant on technology, citing our seeming dependence on
smartphones, television and tablet computers.
To view our blog posts, visit CorrectionalMedicalCare.net
What is TMS?
Don’t let the overlyscientific sounding mishmash of
words in this treatment’s title fool you: transcranial
magnetic stimulation (or TMS) is simply a headpiece
(or headband in some instances) that magnetically
stimulations certain regions of your brain to help with
the treatment of major depressive disorder.
While TMS has been around for quite some time–it was
theorized in the early 1900s and studied more extensively in
the 1980s–recent adaptations and changes have standard
TMS practices both in function and results.
In traditional TMS treatments, a coil is placed near the head
of the patient experiencing symptoms. The coil, which is
connected to a pulse generator, creates a small electrical
current near the head via induction.
Why Does TMS Work and Is it Safe?
This electrical current can help stimulate areas of the brain
into creating more serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes
mental wellbeing and better sleep patterns. Serotonin is the
primary beneficiary of SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake
Inhibitor), a common form of antidepressant. Unlike
antidepressants, however, TMS does not come with an
incredibly lengthy list of potential side effects; the most
prevalent being rare cases of fainting and slight discomfort.
What Can TMS Treat?
As of right now, TMS is only FDA cleared to treat
major depressive disorder, but a new treatment
option that closely aligns with the core concepts of
TMS features a wider array of options.
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator operates in a similar manner to
standard TMS procedures, albeit at a significantly cheaper price.
While the two are both noninvasive brain stimulators intended to
treat mental illness without medication, they do carry with them
Because of the simplicity of the Fisher Wallace Stimulator
(batteries instead of a magnet, a headband instead of a coil), the
device is available at a notably smaller price and for use at your
TMS vs. Fisher Wallace Stimulator
Perhaps most importantly is the variety and validity of the uses of the
Fisher Wallace Stimulator. Instead of TMS, which is FDA cleared only
for treatment of major depressive disorder, the Fisher Wallace
Stimulator has been cleared to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia
and pain via the same means. Multiple studies have confirmed the
validity of the ability of the Fisher Wallace Stimulator to treat these
An added benefit of opting for the Fisher Wallace Stimulator, which
has been around since the early 2000s, is the lack of side effects. One
out of approximately 450 can experience headaches, but no other side
effects were reported in a Harvard study.
Fisher Wallace Now, and in the Future
Though it may not be “new” in the conventional sense, the Fisher
Wallace Stimulator and TMS as a whole have been pushing their way
into the medical field as a valid means of nonmedicinal treatment.
The stimulator has even been shown to have the potential to be more
effective than classic SSRIs, lending credibility to a device that some
may feel is unproven.
Undoubtedly, more testing and development of devices like the Fisher
Wallace Stimulator will occur in the near future as our technology
continues to grow.