Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Learn More about TMS Therapy

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that involves delivering repetitive pulses of magnetic energy to activate nerve cells in specific areas of the brain. These magnetic pulses are used to treat symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder in a somewhat painless manner, allowing you to return to work or your regular daily activities immediately following treatment. Emerging off label uses are being developed for other psychiatric disorders as well as pain disorders. Approximately 50-60% of patients report significant relief of their depressive symptoms, whereas around 30-40% of people report complete resolution of their depression.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is one of the biggest breakthroughs in mental health in decades. Magnetic pulses go right to the area in the bran that controls mood.

TMS Therapy is:

Virtually side effect free

Non-invasive

Medication free

Covered by most insurances & Medicare

FDA approved

You are able to drive yourself to and from your appointments. You can return to work or your regular daily activities immediately following treatment.

Emerging off label uses are being developed for other psychiatric disorders as well as pain disorders.

  • Approximately 50-60% of patients report significant relief of their depressive symptoms,
  • Approximately 30-40% of people report complete resolution of their depression.

What Patients are Saying about TMS Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions about TMS Therapy

rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) is a form of neuromodulation that has been shown to produce changes in neuronal activity in regions of the brain associated with mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex. Using direct magnetic pulses through the skull to specific regions of the brain, brain activity can be either increased or decreased, depending on the treatment approach. It is a safe and effective form on brain stimulation that has been used clinically since 2008.

TMS is recommended when the use of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy have failed to provide relief of your major depressive symptoms. Used as a monotherapy or in conjunction with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, patients have been able to successfully achieve relief of their depression.

Since rTMS uses magnetic pulses as a source of treatment, patients are asked to remove any objects such as jewelry or credit cards that may be sensitive to the magnets. Patients are given earplugs during the treatment for comfort and for hearing protection as the pulses tend to make a series of loud clicking sounds. During the initial session, measurements on the scalp are taken to determine the correct position and target for the treatment area. Once the proper position for treatment has been determined, a patient’s motor threshold response is measured by administering several brief pulses. This helps the physician determine the correct personalized settings and amount of energy needed to apply the treatment. Once the measurements have been taken, treatment commences and the patient will hear a series of clicking sounds and will feel a tapping sensation at the site of treatment.

rTMS is always prescribed by a TMS physician who has received the appropriate training to administer the treatment. After the initial treatment parameters have been established, a trained TMS technician will administer the treatment under the supervision of the TMS physician. The TMS physician or technician will always be present to monitor the patient and make adjustments to the treatment as needed.

rMS therapy is provided in a series of treatment sessions that last approximately 30-40 minutes. The Magstim® TMS device allows for three variations in treatment time with the latest variation in as short as 3 minutes. Patients will receive TMS 5 days a week with a typical course lasting between 4-6 weeks depending on treatment response.

TMS does not require any sedation or general anesthesia and is performed in the outpatient setting. Patients are fully awake and aware during the treatment, therefore there is no recovery time. Patients are able to drive home and return to the usual activities right after treatment.

TMS has few known side effects. The most common side effects are mild scalp discomfort or headaches during treatment, but normal activities can typically be resumed immediately after treatment. Over-the-counter pain medication can be used to treat these headaches. The most serious risk of rTMS is seizures. However, the risk of a seizure is exceedingly low. We follow up-to-date safety guidelines that are designed to minimize the risk of seizures.

Patients with a history of seizures or who have metal implants or objects in or near their head are not appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. To determine if TMS Therapy may be right for you, your supervising doctor or psychiatrist will carefully screen for the presence of medical conditions or metal objects which may make TMS unsuitable.

TMS Therapy is indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications in the current depressive episode. Your current physician may refer you to our practice to best determine if you are a candidate for TMS Therapy.

TMS is covered by most insurance providers including Medicare (and by Medicaid in some states). Prior authorization is typically required for insurance coverage. Your physician will manage this process. Typically, treatment with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy may be needed before insurance will authorize TMS Therapy.