In September, TMS Health Solutions changed the name of its Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy centers in El Dorado Hills and Sacramento to Mindful Health Solutions The reason for this change was to better illustrate the company’s focus on TMS therapy, which is an alternative treatment for clinical depression. MHS also announced its plans to expand its clinics in California and the rest of the United States.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects an estimated 350 million people in the world. Approximately 16.1 million of them are in the U.S, and about four million of those patients don’t benefit from standard antidepressants. TMS therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of depression, especially patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). About half the patients who receive this therapy improve significantly, while one-third become completely free of symptoms.
TMS therapy is non-invasive and drug-free. A physician can perform it in an office setting, with each session lasting about 45 minutes. Dr. Karl Lanocha, director of TMS education at TMS Health Solutions, says, “TMS therapy acts very locally and very precisely on a single targeted brain region.” In comparison, medications circulate throughout the body and affect every system, which is why they have adverse side effects.
Mindful Health Solutions is led by Richard Bermudes, M.D. and Karl Lanocha, M.D., two of the leading TMS experts in the United States. Dr. Bermudes is the first psychiatrist in the Sacramento area to offer TMS therapy as a treatment for depression. He is currently the practice’s medical director and is also the president of the Clinical TMS Society. Dr. Lanocha is a neuropsychiatrist with over 25 years of experience in neuromodulation and brain stimulation therapy. He currently specializes in TRD.
Dr. Bermudes founded his practice in 2007, which was originally known as Mindful Health Solutions until the name change to TMS Health Solutions in 2015. He wanted to develop a patient-focused group psychiatric practice based on current academic research that also educates the community. This approach means that Dr. Bermudes is continually incorporating new treatment methods like TMS into his practice. It has also allowed him to design a new model for group psychiatric practice.
Dr. Lanocha was impressed by the efficacy of TMS and trained in its use in 2007. He took his training at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Harvard Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Lanocha joined Mindful Health Solutions in 2013 and is currently the practice’s Head of TMS Education. He is also a Member of the Clinical TMS Society’s Clinical Standards Committee.
Drs. Bermudes’ and Lanocha have also written a book entitled “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Clinical Applications for Psychiatric Practices.” It describes the process for integrating TMS therapy into psychiatric practice and was published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2018.
Mindful Health Solutions and TMS
Dr. Bermudes is redirecting the focus of MindfulHealth Solutions from traditional psychiatric treatment to TMS because he believes it “represents a new frontier in alternative treatments for depression.” He adds that he’s excited “to see the positive results of this drug-free, non-invasive treatment for patients who previously had [TRD], many of them for decades.”
TMS, also known as repetitive TMS (rTMS), stimulates the brain with a magnetic field that’s about as strong as that produced during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This field is typically directed towards the frontal lobes of the brain, which is the region responsible for the primary symptoms of major depression.
A TMS device consists of two primary components, including an electric pulse generator and a magnetic coil. The electric pulse generator, or stimulator, is connected to the coil, which then attaches to the patient’s scalp. The stimulator generates an alternating electrical current that induces a magnetic field in the coil. The operator then directs this field towards the patient’s brain, where it induces a secondary electrical field. This field has demonstrated the potential for treating clinical depression, along with other conditions of the central nervous system.
Mindful Health Solutions specializes in caring for patients with TRD, who comprise about 40 percent of all patients with clinical depression. This practice is currently the leading provider of TMS in California, but it also provides a comprehensive set of other psychiatry services for its patients. Most major health insurance carriers cover TMS, including Blue Shield of California, Cigna, United Healthcare, Anthem and Optum. Mindful Health Solutions helps patients find other ways to finance their services when insurance coverage is unavailable.
The practice often receives patient referrals from a primary care provider such as a therapist or psychiatrist. It then develops a treatment plan based on the patient’s existing medical records that aligns with the patient’s needs. TMS also keeps the referring healthcare provider informed on the patient’s progress with regular status reports.
Mindful Health Solutions’ is based in San Francisco. It has offices in the following California cities to ensure a psychiatrist near you:
- San Francisco
- El Dorado Hills
- Elk Grove
- Newport Beach
- San Rafael
- Walnut Creek
Mindful Health Solutions will also be opening additional offices in California and elsewhere in the United States. Furthermore, Mindful Health Solutions already offers telepsychiatry services, so it can always provide a psychiatrist near you.