What Is Interventional Psychiatry?

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What Is Interventional Psychiatry?

Dissatisfied with the unacceptable failure rate of medication-alone treatments for mental health issues, researchers and physicians have sought effective alternatives for years. Today’s modalities of treatment, technologies and techniques represent the most advanced, refined, and successful approaches and have provided remission of symptoms for patients that have suffered for decades.

The new field, called interventional psychiatry, has revolutionized mental health treatment, and one of the leading practitioners is Dr. Karen Giles at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Here, she explains the history and emergence of interventional psychiatry and how it benefits patients who have treatment-resistant disorders or can’t tolerate pharmacological treatments. 

What is interventional psychiatry?

Interventional psychiatry is an emerging specialty within the field of psychiatry that uses advanced, in-clinic procedure-based therapies to provide relief when conventional treatments like traditional talk therapy and medication have been ineffective.

The goal of interventional psychiatry is to identify and correct the brain circuits that contribute to conditions like severe depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and addiction. 

A brief history of interventional psychiatry

  • Interventional psychiatry has emerged in recent decades, but it began in the early 20th century with treatments like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the 1930s.
  • The toolbox of interventional psychiatry dramatically expanded in the 1990s and 2000s with the approval of vagus nerve stimulation for depression in 2005 and transcranial magnetic stimulation in 2008.
  • Frustration over the stagnation in pharmaceutical development and the recognition that mental illness can derive from faulty brain circuitry led to interest in using devices to modulate brain function. Techniques like deep brain stimulation and magnetic seizure therapy emerged as potentially revolutionary options for stubborn illnesses.
  • The accelerating opioid crisis also increased focus on interventional treatments like psychedelic therapy and ketamine infusion that could rapidly relieve depression and addiction. The pressing need for innovation propelled the advance of this subspecialty.
  • Interventional psychiatry offers new hope for those let down by standard interventions.

What does interventional psychiatry include?

Interventional psychiatry, also known as neuromodulation, uses neurotechnologies to diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders that involve dysfunctional brain circuitry. Several techniques fall under the interventional psychiatry umbrella, including:

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive, painless treatment that sends short magnetic pulses into your brain to stimulate the mood-regulating areas.

Dr. Giles offers the most advanced type of TMS using neuronavigation. With this technology, she uses an MRI-guided device to pinpoint the precise treatment location. This method is more accurate and effective than using manual head measurements.

Breakthru also offers accelerated TMS, which condenses your treatment from 9 weeks to 1 - 2 weeks with multiple appointments per day.

Ketamine therapy

IV ketamine therapy delivers low doses of ketamine, a fast-acting anesthetic, into your bloodstream to lift depression and suicidal thoughts within hours.

Dr. Giles may also recommend IV ketamine therapy for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders.

Spravato®, a refined version of ketamine that comes in a nasal spray form, also helps people with treatment-resistant depression. The FDA has approved Spravato as a medication augmentation and/or alternative for tough-to-treat depression. 

Psychedelic therapy

Psychedelic therapy is the guided use of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine to treat anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and addiction. Although psilocybin and MDMA are currently Schedule I and not yet approved or legalized, leading experts, including Dr. Giles, are optimistic that FDA approvals are forthcoming. Ketamine is the only legal psychedelic in Georgia.

Dr. Giles is passionate about emerging psychedelic modalities for treatment resistant mental health. In fact, she is certified as a psychedelic medicine physician and is positioning Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions as one of the first practices to offer these groundbreaking therapies to patients in Georgia. 

Interventional treatments represent a paradigm shift in psychiatry. They offer new hope and lasting change for those who have not found relief from standard methods. 

To learn more about interventional psychiatry and how it can help you or a loved one with treatment-resistant mental health issues, request an appointment online or call Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions