During TMS treatment, magnetic pulses are sent to your brain, stimulating neural activity and resulting in long-term symptom relief and improved quality of life.
Studies published in recent years have shown a significant reduction of depressive symptoms in patients receiving TMS treatment. At time of TMS treatment completion, over 40% of patients experienced NO depression symptoms.
In addition to its effectiveness,TMS treatment for depression has few side effects, and none of the negative side effects that accompany antidepressants or shock therapy (ECT).
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The news about this new depression treatment is beginning to spread. In addition to the ongoing research, there have been more news reports about TMS treatment for depression than ever before. There are many benefits about this new treatment for depression in the information below. Take the time to educate yourself and we would love to answer any further questions you may have about TMS.
TMS Therapy Is Not Just For Depression
In Europe, TMS therapy is CE approved for major depressive disorder, OCD, PTSD, stroke after-effects, bipolar depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cigarette addiction, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain.
An imbalance in proper brain chemistry is a common cause of depression. With TMS therapy, magnetic pulses stimulate neurons of the brain which, in turn, help alleviate depression. Many people suffer from this type of depression, caused by a chemical imbalance, and don’t even realize it. The signs of depression include sadness and melancholy that doesn’t seem to go away, a lack of energy, irritability, change in sleeping and/or eating habits, and a lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.
Many people have treatment resistant depression, where antidepressants have helped little if at all. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an excellent new alternative depression treatment. Also, whether or not antidepressants have helped previously, TMS therapy can still be effective.
If you have undergone shock therapy or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) without success, TMS depression treatments can help—without anesthesia or electrical shocks. A covered magnetic stimulating coil is strategically placed on the patient’s head. A magnetic field generated from the coil passes through the skull and creates a current that affects the action of neurons in the brain responsible for mood. Unlike antidepressants and other medications, TMS therapy has a long-lasting effect. Some people may need additional treatment months later, while others enjoy long-term relief.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is based on the science of bioelectricity. In the late 1700’s, it was discovered that nerves act as electric conductors and play an important role in muscle contraction. Work began in the United Kingdom in 1976 in which nerves were stimulated using short magnetic field pulses. This work was expanded upon by Anthony Barker and the Sheffield group in 1985 when they developed a machine that could stimulate the cerebral cortex. It used electromagnets rather than direct electric current in order to avoid the pain and disruption caused by electric shocks and seizures.
From then on, its uses have been widely explored for diagnoses as well as treatment. More than 3500 papers have already been published with regard to the use of TMS—from depression to autism to PTSD. Dr. Linda Carpenter and her colleagues at Butler Hospital found that TMS was effective for people with treatment resistant depression. They analyzed clinicians’ ratings of TMS response, as well as patient self-report using standard depression scales. From this they observed a 58% positive response rate as well as a 37% remission rate.
- The TMS depression treatment is performed in a doctor’s office and is very simple.
- The patient sits down in a comfortable seat.
- The TMS device is placed on the head.
- Pulses are delivered for 20 minutes.
- The patient can then drive home or return to work.
After you (or a provider or loved one) calls us or submits a form, we set up a complimentary consultation with you, so you will know what to expect from the treatment. Our insurance team will also work out how much of TMS treatment we can get covered for you. After that, you will have an evaluation with one of our psychiatrists and do a cortical mapping so we can determine the exact location to precisely target your treatment. All of our patients go through a re-mapping several times during treatment to help ensure that we are maximizing impact and effectiveness.
TMS depression treatment works by generating electromagnetic pulses directed toward areas of the brain involved in mood regulation. Small electrical currents are created and are thought to activate brain cells in these inactive regions, releasing important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Basically, it is a transformation of the neural network.
Even though the precise mechanisms of TMS therapy are still uncertain, it is constantly being explored and the benefits expanded. Its effects on the brain and its ability to target depression have been impressive. The future is promising as techniques continue to be fine-tuned.
The Brainsway machine has been widely tested in more than 60 clinical trials around the world. Treatment is often called TMS because the magnetic pulses are delivered deeper.
- A plastic covered coil is placed on an area of the head.
- Localized pulses are delivered.
- The pulses are sent up to 3cm below the skull.
- Treatment time is 20 minutes.
- TMS is safe and well-tolerated
How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Work? Frequently Asked Questions:
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How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Work?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a revolutionary depression treatment. It uses magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons that are underactive in people with depression, alleviating depression symptoms.
Is TMS Therapy Safe and Effective?
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared TMS therapy to help patients dealing with treatment-resistant depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- TMS therapy is CE-approved in Europe to treat not only major depressive disorder, but also Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and other medical conditions.
- TMS has been approved for use with treatment-resistant depression by most of the major insurance providers in Alaska, California, and Oregon.
What is the TMS Treatment Process?
- On the first day of TMS treatment, the physician locates the exact target treatment area and level of stimulation that is unique to each patient
- For all remaining treatments, a certified TMS technician places the helmet containing a magnetic coil on the patient’s head at that specified location and intensity
- During each daily treatment, a magnetic field generated from the coil passes through a patient’s skull and stimulates neurons responsible for mood, alleviating depression symptoms.
What Should I Expect During the TMS Treatment Process?
- A TMS therapy program typically involves five treatment sessions per week over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, with each session lasting 20 minutes.
- A patient can usually watch TV or meditate during a TMS treatment session.
- Patients often say that the magnetic pulses feel like tapping sensations on the forehead that cause minimal discomfort until they are used to the treatment, after the first 1 to 2 weeks.
What Should I Expect After TMS Therapy?
- Patients can return to work, school, and everyday activities immediately following a TMS treatment session.
- TMS therapy initially helps patients get better sleep, then gradually alleviates depression symptoms.
- TMS therapy has been shown to provide long-lasting results for patients dealing with depression symptoms.
What are the Benefits of TMS Therapy?
- Non-Invasive: Does not require anesthesia or electrical shocks
- No Side Effects: Does not cause weight loss or gain, dry mouth, nausea, or other side effects
- No Drugs: Does not involve antidepressants or other depression medications
TMS was cleared in the United States by the FDA back in 2008 to help patients with treatment resistant depression. It has also been CE approved in Europe for the treatment of bipolar disorder, PTSD, chronic pain, OCD, and adult AD/HD.
Including studies and TMS treatment worldwide, TMS has helped with the following:*
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Chemical Imbalance
Within California, Oregon, and Alaska, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has been approved for use with treatment resistant depression by several insurance providers. Insurances that we’re in network with include Cigna, Anthem Blue Cross, Magellan, Tricare, Blue Shield of CA, Blue Shield Federal Employee, Optum, Aetna, MHN, Healthnet, Beacon, Prime Health Services, Provider Select, Medicare, Providence Preferred, Providence Health Plan, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, First Choice Health Network, First Health National Network, Pacificsource, Moda, OHA (fee for service only), First Health, and Premera Blue Cross. Please call us for a full list of providers. We would be happy to help check with your insurance regarding pre-approval.
*Unfortunately, Medi-cal currently does not cover TMS treatment in California. Please contact your Medi-cal provider to inquire further.
TMS Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
What is TMS treatment?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a revolutionary depression treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate neural activity in areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. It is a particularly helpful option for patients with complex, treatment resistant, or refractory depression, is safe and effective, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments or as a stand-alone option.
How does TMS treatment work?
During TMS treatment, magnetic pulses gently pass through the patient’s skull, stimulating neurons in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. fMRI imaging has revealed this area to be underactive in the brains of patients diagnosed with depression, as compared to their typical peers, and this region is known to play a key role in mood and emotional regulation.
Over the course of a patient’s treatment plan, the targeted neurons return to more typical levels of activation, regularizing neurotransmitter production and relieving depression symptoms.
How effective is TMS?
TMS has been proven to be a highly effective treatment option, particularly for patients with chronic, treatment resistant depression who have not found adequate relief from antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.
Recent peer-reviewed studies showed that 70% of patients who underwent TMS experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, with 40% of those patients reporting no depressive symptoms at all once they completed treatment.
Is TMS treatment FDA approved?
TMS has been FDA approved to treat depression since 2008, and gained clearance for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 2018. In Europe, TMS is CE-approved to treat these disorders, in addition to several others.
Is TMS treatment safe and well tolerated?
Most patients report no pain during their TMS treatment. Some patients who are predisposed to migraines report mild headaches during the first week of their treatment program. Headaches typically resolve on their own after the first week, but patients can take a mild, over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.
TMS is a safe treatment, as determined by the FDA in 2008. There is a very low risk of seizures caused by TMS, with 1 in 60,000 TMS treatments inducing a minor seizure on average. Achieve TMS maintains the strictest safety procedures, and due to this diligence, none of our patients has ever sustained a seizure.
What are the side effects of TMS treatment?
One of the biggest benefits of TMS therapy is that it does not cause harmful side effects like antidepressant medications often do. TMS relieves depression symptoms without causing nausea, sleep changes, weight gain, or any of the side effects caused by medications.
What can a patient expect during a TMS treatment?
Each treatment session lasts for about 20 minutes, and patients typically complete 5 sessions per week for 6 weeks. During each session, a patient relaxes comfortably and can read or watch television while treatment is administered. Patients can immediately drive and resume their normal daily activities after each session.
Can TMS be used in conjunction with medication?
TMS can be used in conjunction with antidepressant medications, and does not alter a patient’s existing medication routine. It can also be prescribed as a stand-alone treatment.
Is TMS covered by insurance?
Most major insurers cover TMS treatment, and an updated list of policies that cover treatment can be found at achievetms.com/insurance/.
How is treatment supervised?
At Achieve TMS, each patient works with a licensed physician who determines a custom treatment plan, oversees treatments, and monitors progress. Certified TMS technicians who are trained and evaluated by third party certifiers administer each TMS treatment, and maintain a supportive, therapeutic environment to support each patient’s healing.