Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS)
What exactly is “helmet therapy,” or deep TMS, and why is it being used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)?
Brainsway’s deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) technology received FDA clearance for treatment of depression in 2013. Brainsway differentiates itself in both the design of the coil used, in this case an H-coil embedded inside the helmet and targeting a very specific part of the brain, and in the deeper reach of the currents into the brain (6 cm depth for dTMS vs. 2.5 cm for standard TMS). Deep TMS offers new hope for individuals who have been deemed treatment-resistant following trials of multiple antidepressants that did not offer any measurable relief of symptoms.
Helmet Therapy for Depression: What You Need to Know
Depression is complex, and finding the right treatment to address depression symptoms sometimes proves to be a long and arduous process. In some instances, antidepressant medications are prescribed to treat depression symptoms, which may cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Worst of all, many individuals ignore or don’t understand the cause of their depression symptoms, which delays the seeking of treatment and makes it difficult to enjoy life to the fullest extent.
Helmet therapy for depression or deep TMS is quickly transforming the way that people treat their depression symptoms. It involves the use of a non-invasive medical device to help people manage the symptoms associated with MDD, OCD, and other mental health conditions. This is a safe, effective, and medication-free alternative to many traditional depression treatments.
How Does dTMS Work?
In studying brain activity of patients with MDD , it is clear that neurons in the limbic region of the brain, or mood center, are underactive. The sluggish brain cells impact overall brain chemistry, throwing it out of whack.
Deep TMS works by delivering powerful magnetic pulses through the H-coil and into the cerebral cortex. These magnetic fields induce electrical currents that jump-start the dormant or underactive neurons, and can, over the period of treatment,reset brain chemistry and improve mood.
Is dTMS Helmet Therapy for Depression Safe?
In over 60 clinical studies performed globally, dTMS has been demonstrated to be both safe and effective in relieving the symptoms of depression, producing statistically significant results. Because dTMS therapy requires no sedation, there are no serious risks like those associated with anesthesia.
Deep TMS therapy is very well tolerated by patients. In most cases patients experience no adverse effects from the treatment. In the few reports where side effects were noted, they involved mild irritation on the scalp or mild to moderate headache. In these cases the side effects were transient, resolving as treatment sessions progressed.
A dTMS Treatment Session Described
Patients who are deemed to be good candidates for dTMS therapy will be prescribed five 20-minute treatment sessions per week for a period of 4-6 weeks. A typical session involves the patient, who is fully alert, being seated comfortably and then fitted with the helmet—thus the name helmet therapy. Most patients do not feel any discomfort during the session, and pass the time by listening to their favorite music or watching TV.
Following a dTMS therapy session, a patient can resume his or her normal activitiesWhen the session ends, the patient can drive him or herself to home or work. There is no downtime needed following a dTMS treatment session. Treatment results begin to be recognized after about the tenth treatment session, or at the end of two weeks. Patients at this juncture tend to report improved sleep quality. As the sessions progress, patients begin to notice improved focus and concentration, and eventually improved mood.
Benefits of Helmet Therapy for Depression
Key reasons why people choose helmet therapy to treat depression symptoms include:
- Minimal Discomfort: Some dTMS therapy patients report a minor and transient headache following treatment, and others report no discomfort at all.
- Noninvasive: No anesthesia or electrical shocks are utilized during a dTMS therapy session.
- No Side Effects: dTMS therapy does not cause dry mouth, weight gain, or other side effects frequently associated with depression medication.
Achieve TMS Largest U.S. Provider of dTMS for Treatment of Depression
With multiple office locations, Achieve TMS is the leading provider of dTMS therapy for treatment-resistant MDD. The dedicated doctors at Achieve TMS possess special expertise in providing dTMS therapy that gives a new lease on life to many. Each convenient office location offers a clean, comfortable and relaxing environment that is conducive to healing. For more information about helmet therapy or deep TMS for depression, please contact us online or call or text us at (877) 871-6379.
Multiple Treatment Locations in CA, OR and AK.