What is Alzheimer’s?

This year, it is estimated that about 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder. It’s a form of dementia that affects one’s memory, thinking, and behavior. Its symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time. 

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s is still not fully understood but scientists believe it’s a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. 

Problems with brain proteins are the core of Alzheimer’s disease. When these proteins fail to function normally, they affect the work of brain cells. This results in neurons losing connections to each other and eventually die.

You have a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s if you have a family history of it, have a mild cognitive impairment, poor sleep patterns, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Symptoms and Treatment

The most common and one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly-learned information. 

As the disease progresses, you may experience disorientation, confusion of certain events, mood and behavior changes, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing and walking. 

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but there are ways to manage its symptoms. Currently, there are two types of drugs used to manage cognitive symptoms. These include cholinesterase inhibitors (e.g. Aricept, Razadyne) and memantine. The latter helps in slowing the progression of the symptoms in moderate to severe cases of the disease.

If you or someone you love suffer from Alzheimer’s but aren’t experiencing positive results from medications, you may consider TMS.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that has been shown to ease the symptoms of certain conditions including depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

For more information, you can call us at (520) 338-2557 or fill out this form to request for an appointment.

 

References:

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20350447

 

What is Parkinson’s and Why Can it Cause Depression?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that impacts the way one moves. People with the disease have trouble moving. Some parts of the body may shake, feel stiff, and they may move slower than the usual.

The exact cause of the disease is still unknown but several factors may play a role in its development. These include genes and environmental triggers (e.g. exposure to certain toxins or chemicals).

Depression and Parkinson’s Disease

Aside from the physical symptoms, people with Parkinson’s disease may also suffer from depression.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder caused by an imbalance of certain brain chemicals. Unlike the occasional feeling of sadness, depression can affect your appetite, sleep, self-perception, and even relationships. About 50 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease suffer from depression.

The link between depression and Parkinson’s disease has something to do with the brain chemistry. In Parkinson’s disease patients, there’s a substantial dopamine loss in the motor areas like the substantia nigra. This causes problems with the body’s motor functions. However, scientists have also discovered that patients with Parkinson’s disease may also have reduced levels of serotonin. This explains problems in mood, sleep, and energy levels.

How is it managed?

Depression in Parkinson’s disease are often managed through antidepressants, counseling, and exercise.

Not everyone has successful experiences with the medications. If this is you, then you may want to try other alternatives like TMS.

TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive, FDA-approved procedure that is shown to be effective in patients with Parkinson’s disease and depression. If you want to know more, you can request for a free consultation by filling out this form or calling (520) 338-2557

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319831.php

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9379-depression-overview-and-its-role-in-parkinsons-disease

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055

 

Spring Cleaning

It’s officially spring – the time of the year when we put away our heavy sweaters and spend more time outdoors. For many, spring is a time of renewal and change. Whatever that means to you, spring, for many people is the perfect time for decluttering – both mentally and physically.

Clutter and Our Brain

If you live where winters are harsh, that means you are shut inside for months. This often leads to clutter in different spaces of the house – bedrooms, closets, and entryways. Consequently, this clutter can lead to feelings of irritability and stress.

According to psychologists, it’s normal to feel this way. On a subconscious level, clutter is often associated with negative emotions such as confusion, worry, and tension while a clean space is often linked to more positive emotions such as happiness, calmness, and a sense of well-being.

Clutter often stress us out because it can be viewed as an unfinished business. For many people, this can be unsettling and hence, stressful.

How Spring Cleaning Helps:

There are several reasons why spring cleaning can help reduce depression and anxiety:

  1. It helps reduce the distraction and overwhelming stimuli from the environment.
    We are biologically wired to be more aware of our environment. When there’s more clutter around us, we tend to feel more depressed and stressed. Clearing up our clutter can help in reducing the stress hormones and thereby, benefit our mental health.
  2. Spring cleaning is a form of exercise!
    Cleaning, in different forms, is a great exercise. Physical activities like this promote the release of endorphins, also known as the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
  3. It gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
    Clutter stresses us out because it makes us feel unaccomplished. Spring cleaning does the opposite. Even if it’s just a small area of the house or one item in your list (e.g. clothing), getting rid of the clutter can give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

If depression and anxiety wears you down and your symptoms didn’t improve with the conventional treatment method, call us. TMS therapy may work for you.

 

References:

https://www.hellopeacefulmind.com/why-spring-cleaning-will-make-you-feel-better/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a26898773/how-cleaning-helps-anxiety/

https://www.carespot.com/blog/medicine-or-malarkey-can-spring-cleaning-benefit-your-mental-health

 

Are April Showers Bringing You Down?

Our behavior, desire to socialize, and energy levels tend to change with each season. For people diagnosed with SAD or seasonal affective disorder, don’t just have the case of the blues. In certain seasons, they find it difficult to cope and get out of depression on their own.

While SAD is often associated with winter, it’s inaccurate to confine it with colder seasons. Even warmer months and longer days can send people’s emotions into a tailspin.

Why people can get depressed during spring?

The increased amount of sunlight and the higher temperature can be overwhelming for some people. It can be more troublesome for those with SAD as almost everyone around them are excited about the season and they’re not.

There is no exact cause for seasonal depression. However, experts believe that it may have something to do with chemical imbalances in the brain. It could either be hereditary or brought by certain events in one’s life.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Whether it occurs during winter or spring, SAD symptoms are almost the same. These include irritability, insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss.

If you think you suffer from seasonal depression, don’t ignore the signs and symptoms. Reach out for help.

The sooner you’ll see a specialist, the sooner you can find a treatment that’s appropriate for you.

 

References:

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/april-showers-bring-the-end-of-seasonal-depression

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/minding-the-body/201203/when-spring-brings-you-down

https://tmsneuroinstitute.com/2018/03/22/spring-depression/

Stress Awareness Month

We all experience stress from time to time and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Stress is important. It keeps us motivated and alert to respond to danger. However, just like anything else, too much stress can do more harm than good. Chronic stress may, unfortunately, lead to major depression in people who are susceptible to it.

What’s the connection between stress and depression?
Chronic stress, regardless of what causes it, may lead to major depression as it can lead to overactivity of the body’s stress-response mechanism.

Sustained stress can cause hormonal imbalance. It can elevate your levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) and reduced some of the neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters are vital in our day-to-day life. They help regulate body processes such as sleep, sex, energy, appetite, and mood.

What are the most common stressors that can lead to depression?
If you are most likely to suffer from depression, you have to watch out for these stressors:

  • Major life events such as loss of a loved one (e.g. death, breakup, divorce)
  • Trauma such as as war combat or sexual abuse
  • Social stressors such as relationship or sexuality issues
  • Occupational stress such as being jobless or work overload
  • Financial stress
  • Stress from having a chronic disease or condition

 

Modifying the Body’s Stress Response
If you are on the brink of suffering from major depression due to stress, it’s important to make lifestyle changes to modify your body’s response. You can try:

Reaching out to friends and family
Speaking to friends and family for support can help in alleviating stress.

Exercising regularly
Several studies have shown that regular physical activity can increase the body’s production of endorphins, which are also known as the ‘feel good’ hormones.

Improving your sleep quality
Lack of sleep compounds the effects of stress on the body. People who are consistently sleep deprived are more susceptible to getting depressed than those who have good sleep (both quantity and quality).

Talking to a medical professional
If stress is affecting the way you live, it’s important to talk to someone who is trained to help people who are suffering from chronic stress.

Stress may be vital in our lives but when it gets too much, it’s important to seek appropriate intervention.

If your stress leads you to depression and the conventional therapy isn’t working, NeurOasis TMS can help.

 

Reference:
https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/stress-depression#1

 

Are you a candidate for TMS Therapy?

In the recent years, TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation has become a popular treatment option especially in those who weren’t successful in the conventional treatment for anxiety and depression.

What is TMS therapy?
TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate certain areas of the brain.

It is FDA-approved and works really well for major depressive disorders, anxiety, and even for stroke management.

In a TMS therapy session, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the head, just above the targeted area of the brain. This device produces very small electric currents, which stimulate the affected areas of the brain.

Although the exact mechanism as to how TMS works is still unclear, several studies have shown that TMS therapy helps in stroke recovery and alleviates the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

Are you an ideal TMS candidate?
TMS is a very safe procedure and could be an ideal treatment for you if you have the following circumstances:

* Conventional treatments (i.e. medications and psychotherapy) failed to provide relief
TMS may be right for you if you didn’t have any success from the conventional treatment methods or if these treatments brought undesirable side effects.

* Over 18 years of age
TMS is generally safe but usually not recommended for individuals younger than 18. There are very limited studies on the long-term effect of TMS on the developing brain.

* Free from implants or metal objects
Due to the nature of the therapy, it can’t be admistered to anyone with implants controlled by physiological signals (e.g. pacemakers, defribillators, nerve stimulators) or non-removable magnetic sensitive metal in the head or any part of the body that’s within the 12 inches scope of the metal coil.

Still not sure if TMS is right for you? Schedule appointment with us. We’ll assess your situation and help you determine if this therapy is appropriate for you.



References:
http://tmsyou.com/tms-treatment/ideal-tms-therapy-candidate/
https://www.madisonavetms.com/good-candidate-tms/

5 Resolutions for Better Mental Health

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are related to physical health but we rarely, if at all, make ones that can benefit our mental health.

Mental health is rarely talked about during the New Year but it is a vital element of our overall health.

Poor mental health can lead to a myriad of health problems. Make this year different and prioritize your mental health.

Committing to these five resolutions can lead to a better, healthier you!

  1. 1. Eat more whole foods

A lot of people make this resolution to benefit themselves physically. But did you know that healthy eating can also do good to your mental health.

Research has it that nutrition has a role to play in mental health. People who consume more whole foods like fruits and vegetables have lower levels of depression compared to those who eat less. Eating whole foods especially those that belong in the broccoli family can also benefit you in the long run as they can help slow cognitive decline.

  1. 2. Make time for physical activity

Whether it’s cleaning your yard, walking, or running, any physical activity can help you. For years, research has shown that exercise is the most effective way of reducing depression or anxiety.

If you have been sedentary in the past years, it’s best to start slow and find an activity that you enjoy. This allows you to adhere religiously to your exercise plan.

  1. 3. Get enough sleep

There’s a strong correlation between sleep and mental health. When you’re constantly sleep deprived, you are compromising your psychological and mental health. And when you already have these issues, you are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems.

How sleep affects mental health and vice versa is still not fully understood but brain studies suggest that having a good night sleep contributes to both mental and emotional resilience. Chronic sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can make you more prone to emotional instability and having negative thoughts.

  1. 4. Cut back on your screen time

Want more time to exercise, prepare healthier meals, and/or sleep? Reducing your screen time may help.

You don’t have to give up your favorite show. It just means you have to do it in moderation. Studies have shown that excessive TV watching and use of smartphones (and other similar devices) can affect sleep and mental health.

  1. 5. Seek professional help

Sometimes, we think of mental health problem as something we can just snap out of. The truth is, sometimes we just need professional help.

If your mental health issues are keeping you from living life fully, then visit a specialist. If you didn’t have success with any of the traditional treatment methods, don’t feel defeated. There are alternative treatment options that can help you.

 

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

http://theconversation.com/new-years-resolutions-for-better-mental-health-87255

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beating New Year’s Depression

The media often portray New Year as one of the happiest, most exciting time of the year, but not everyone will see it this way. This is especially true for those who suffer with depression or those who are more predisposed to getting depressed during this season.

New Year’s Eve or the New Year itself can bring more feelings of sadness and/or loneliness to these people. According to psychologists, this could be due to the reflective nature of this holiday.

During this time of the year, people usually look back on the past year and observe what they have accomplished, and what they wanted to do more of and/or change on the coming year.

When you feel you didn’t accomplish enough or when you’re more prone to rumination, this holiday can easily lead you to a spiral of negativity. However, there are ways to prevent you from getting into that.

  1. Plan something that gets you really excited

Whether it’s taking a trip or trying a new hobby, planning and anticipating for something can give you a boost of happiness. The effect is still the same even if you’re planning to make it happen on the later part of the year.

  1. Examine your expectations

If you decide to come up with New Year’s resolutions, examine your expectations and decide if they are realistic. If they don’t seem to be, then try breaking them down to smaller goals.

  1. Reach out

Know that it’s okay to feel this way during this holiday. If you feel isolated or extremely sad, don’t hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, a community, or a professional.


If you still feel depressed after seeking professional help, we can help.

 

References:

https://broadly.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/d343ex/why-is-new-years-eve-so-depressing

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/new-year-blues

https://www.themuse.com/advice/new-years-blu

Understanding Mental Health & Reversing the Stigma

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness,  over 40 million Americans suffer from some form of mental Illness such as depression, schizophrenia,  bipolar, and anxiety disorders.

Mental Illness is not uncommon. In fact, one in every four families have family members who have mental health issues. Regardless of this astonishing figure, many of them do not seek help due to the stigma of mental health problems.

What can be done to reverse the stigma?

There are things we can do to abolish the stigma attached to mental health issues:

  1. Raise awareness

If you’re suffering from a mental health problem, then one of the best things you can do to reverse the stigma is using your own experience to educate other people.

 

  1. Educate yourself

When you educate yourself about these mental health issues, you will realize that the stigmas on these conditions are either exaggerations or lies.

A good start of educating yourself is learning the symptoms and treatment of different mental health illnesses. Doing this will make you understand what those people with mental health issues are battling with.

 

  1. Attend events that support the cause

Attending such events create a significant impact in removing the stigma on mental health illnesses. Being there and showing your support is like saying there is no shame in talking about mental health problems.

How Depression Affects Your Life

 

Depression, even in minder forms, can have an impact on different facets of life. It can complicate serious health conditions like heart disease and cancer and affect the way you eat and sleep.

When you’re depressed, it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. Hence, depression can also have an impact in your education and career.

Many people with depression have comorbid disorders. This is usually in the form of addiction (e.g. alcohol and drug abuse).

Depression doesn’t just have an impact on you. It can also affect the people around you, including your family, friends, significant others, and co-workers.

Are you depressed?

Leaving depression untreated can have serious implications both in your personal and professional life. Learning its signs and symptoms can help you seek your needed treatment.

The most common symptoms of depression include:

  • feeling sad for over two weeks
  • feeling hopeless or helpless
  • changes in sleep and eating patterns
  • losing interest in things you used to enjoy
  • withdrawal from friends or family
  • constant fatigue
  • Chronic pains
  • suicidal thoughts

Depression can be managed through psychotherapy and medications (i.e. antidepressants). However, not everyone experience relief from these forms of treatment. If you’re one of them, we can help.