Personalized therapy treatment used to treat mental health illnesses without drugs

FDA approved PrTMS treatment for long list of conditions

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A doctor in California has come up with personalized transcranial repetitive stimulation, or PrTMS, to treat patients with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder without drugs, and patients in San Antonio are swearing by the treatment.

The illnesses are often treated with prescription pills. Due to our nation’s addiction epidemic, there are desperate attempt to find ways to treat patients without drugs.

A magnetic coil on the PrTMS therapy machine rests gently on a patient’s head. Richard Diaz, a nurse practitioner who oversees the treatment, said the magnetic pulses force the brain to exercise properly.

“You're kind of moving those neurons back to where they should be,” he said.

Pulse level and treatment length are personalized to the patient. An EEG is taken before treatment and is assessed by doctors in California, who then send a protocol back to clinics.

There are stipulations to have the therapy chair in a facility. There must be a relaxing environment and even the color of the walls and floors of a facility have to be calming.

Valerie McDonald uses the PrTMS therapy. She’s now four years sober, but the effects of her previous life still linger.

“(I) went from alcohol, marijuana to cocaine and heroin,” she said. “I had extreme anxiety, I had depression, PTSD. I ended up in a Methodist Transplant Hospital for seven days because of severe panic attack disorder.”

McDonald’s greatest fear is being prescribed pills she could become addicted to. To her luck, her workplace, Windmill Wellness Ranch Inpatient Facility, got a PrTMS machine, and she underwent 20 treatments.

“I no longer have the ringing in my ears. I no longer see the shadows,” she said. “I think I've been off the treatments for about a month and a half now, and I still have no anxiety.”

McDonald believes the machine will change and save lives.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the treatment for a long list of conditions, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, autism and cerebral palsy. Many insurance providers cover the treatment.

Clinical trials are happening now in California, testing the therapy for addiction.

Windmill Wellness Ranch is the only inpatient treatment facility in the nation offering it. All the other 11 locations around the country are clinics.

Copyright 2018 by KSAT - All rights reserved.