Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a revolutionary treatment that offers long-term symptom relief. Studies published in recent years have shown a significant reduction of depressive symptoms in patients receiving TMS treatment. In addition to its effectiveness, treatment has few side effects, and none of the negative side effects that accompany antidepressants or shock therapy (ECT).
The news about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is beginning to spread. In addition to the ongoing research, there have been more news reports than ever, some of which are included with the information below. Read on. After all, knowledge is power—the power to change your life when previous treatments have failed.
TMS Is Not Just For Depression
In Europe, it’s 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, magnetic pulses stimulate neurons in the mood center 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 alternative. Also, whether or not antidepressants have helped previously, TMS can still be effective.
And if you have undergone shock therapy or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) without success, TMS 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 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 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 treatment we can get covered for you. After that, you wil have an evaluation with one of our psychiatrists and do a cortical mapping so we can determine the exact location of the limbic system 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 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 Deep 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 8cm below the skull.
- No cooling system is required.
- Treatment time is 20 minutes.
With dTMS there are no systemic side effects, no adverse effect on cognition, and no seizures during clinical studies of over 10,000 treatments.
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:*
- Eating disorders
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Chemical Inbalance
So far, within California, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has been approved for use with treatment resistant depression by Anthem Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Humana, United Health Care, Healthnet, Tricare and more. Please call us for a list of providers. We would be happy to help check with your insurance regarding pre-approval.
*Different people with various diagnoses are helped to differing degrees. Results vary. Official FDA Approval is currently restricted to depression but several other uses are awaiting approval.