TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA approved treatment [since 2008] for adults with treatment resistant depression, i.e. those who suffer from major depressive disorder and who have failed to find relief from anti-depressants or have side effects. It is an office procedure where magnetic pulses target the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
Studies have shown that almost a third of patients do not respond to traditional antidepressants and in this difficult to treat population, almost two-thirds achieve a response with TMS.
What to expect from TMS
Your doctor and you, in collaboration, will decide if TMS may be right for you. You will then meet one of our therapists who will take a full history and conduct an evaluation, which will include objective tests and scales for depression, fatigue etc. This will be done regularly during your treatment as well to monitor your progress. We will then attempt to obtain prior authorization from your insurance. Our TMS specialist and doctor will answer any questions you may have.
A doctor and TMS specialist will measure the location of treatment and determine the amount of electromagnetic pulse that will be most beneficial to you. It is done by placing the coil on your head and producing one magnetic pulse while watching for movements in the hand and fingers.
During subsequent treatments a coil will be placed on your head. The TMS machine will be set to your specific treatment measurements. You will hear a clicking noise and feel tapping on your head.
In the first few treatments patients may feel a mild headache and goes away fairly quickly.
Treatment lasts 20 minutes and are conducted daily, 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks (20-30 sessions). Some patients may benefit from maintenance therapy after their initial treatment course. Please make sure you are attend the full course of therapy to get the most benefit from treatment.
While TMS does not work for everyone, it does work for the majority of people. Results are not instantaneous and it may take 2 or more weeks to begin to notice improvement.