As a TMS Technician, I am often asked “how successful is TMS?”. Fortunately, we can confidently answer this question. Over the past few years, TMS research from across the globe has shown astonishing success rates. Research from Tel Aviv University reveals that TMS, medications, and psychotherapy combined, delivers a 75% response rate, where response is identified as a 50% or greater decrease in a patient’s depression assessment. Remission rates for this group are well over 55%. These numbers are significantly higher than response and remission with anti-depressants alone which report a 30-40% response rate, and can leave patients with terrible side effects.
Does TMS Therapy Really Work?
A study from Brainsway, the company that has developed a deep TMS machine, reveals similar data. They conducted a double-blind, multi-site study with 212 medication-free patients. After 20 daily sessions, and 6 single sessions spread out over the following 12 weeks, researchers found that 38.4% of patients responded to the treatment, while 32.6% reported remission of their depressive symptoms. What this means is that TMS treatment used by itself, without the aid of medications, or psychotherapy, is highly effective.
It’s amazing to see such effective results across the globe, but, I’m often asked: “what about the results at Achieve TMS?” Over the past few years we have been analyzing response and remission rates from a collection of more than 600 patients. We have found that at the end of treatment — usually 30 daily sessions for 6 weeks, — 60% of patients are reporting that TMS has decreased their depressive symptoms by more than half, and that about 40% of patients are reporting complete remission of their depression. These numbers reflect genuine success, and are encouraging to see. Another interesting finding is the correlation between decreased depressive symptoms and increased quality of life.
So, when patients ask me about the success of TMS treatment, I state the facts, and those facts bring hope to those struggling with depression. TMS is an effective treatment that can and does change lives.