A brain pathway (or neuronal pathway) is like a power line between two brain regions. A brain pathway is made up of interconnected neurons, and signals travel along them from one area of the brain to another. Neurotransmitters are molecules that allow a signal to travel from one neuron to another. All drugs of abuse interfere with neurotransmitter signaling in some way.
Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter used by the reward pathway (also called the mesolimbic pathway). Most drugs of abuse interfere with dopamine signaling, which compels addicts to constantly seek more and more of their “drug of choice” as they develop a tolerance to their usual doses, all the while seeking the same dopamine rewards promised by miniscule doses when they first started getting high.
Many drugs of abuse also interfere with serotonin signaling. These include cocaine, amphetamines, LSD, and alcohol. Serotonin plays a role in many processes, including body temperature regulation, sleep, mood, appetite, and pain. Problems with serotonin signaling are linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. Many medications for treating depression increase serotonin levels in the brain.
To combat these maladies and arm our clients with the latest tools science has to offer, Westwind Recovery often-times will work with the Southern California TMS Center.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) represents an exciting non-medication and noninvasive option for treatment of some brain health conditions, specifically TMS for depression. TMS works by using magnetic therapy in the form of magnetic field pulses to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells to alleviate the symptoms associated with depression. In addition, there is growing research exploring the effectiveness of TMS in other neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders.
Westwind stands behind the SoCal TMS Center as a leading provider of an innovative technology whose efficacy has been clinically proven to transform lives in a manner that, to many, seems miraculous.