What is TMS?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treats Major Depression
TMS is an exciting entry into the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) has been clinically proven to dramatically improve symptoms of this serious mental health condition that affects 35 million Americans annually. Although TMS therapy has had much success helping people overcome depression, there are many who still do not know what TMS is.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a safe, noninvasive therapeutic treatment for individuals who have not responded to a regimen of antidepressant medications. Usually by the time these patients seek TMS treatment they have tried a multitude of different drugs, finding no relief from their depressive symptoms. In fact, in addition to not experiencing improvement in the debilitating symptoms of depression, they often suffered adverse side effects from the medications.
What is TMS?
TMS therapy uses electromagnetic induction technology that is delivered through a coil, which is embedded in a padded helmet. The pulses that are delivered through the coil to the scalp and brain are the same type as an MRI machine. The magnetic field is converted to an electrical current in the prefrontal cortex of the patient, where it can produce changes in the brain activity that regulates mood, concentration, and decision-making.
TMS therapy works by targeting the electrical activity within the neurons, stimulating chemicals released by the neuron and subsequently increasing brain activity. It has been found that an imbalance of brain chemistry in this region is directly related to depression, and TMS normalizes, or resets, these levels.
What does a Typical TMS Therapy Session Look Like?
Patients are seated in a comfortable chair, fully alert during the TMS treatment session. The doctor will determine the placement of the coil and the strength of the pulses for each specific patient. During the session the patient will experience a tapping sensation on the scalp where the pulses are being delivered.
Each TMS treatment session lasts 20 minutes. Patients are prescribed 5 sessions per week for 4-6 weeks for optimal results. The patient is able to drive him or herself to home or work following the session and then resume all normal activities.
Is TMS Safe?
TMS therapy is repeatedly proven in clinical studies to be a safe and effective treatment method for depression. Few side effects have been reported, and those have been minor. Some TMS patients have experienced mild to moderate headache following the session, and some report having mild irritation at the scalp treatment site. These effects typically subside as the treatment regimen proceeds.
Because no anesthesia is needed for TMS treatments, the risks associated with a general anesthesia do not apply to TMS. This alternative therapy has been shown to be safe in treating stubborn MDD when antidepressants—with side effects such as weight gain, irritability, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction—have failed to provide improvement in their depressive symptoms.
Is TMS Therapy Effective in Treating Depression?
In the past decade, numerous clinical trials and studies have demonstrated the efficacy of treating drug-resistant depression with TMS. The evidence of this innovative technology successfully treating patients suffering from long-term depression is persuasive. Studies report significant remission rates of 38%.
In sham-controlled, double blind studies conducted in the U.S., Israel, Canada, and Europe. Although only cleared by the FDA for use for treating MDD, in Europe it is already approved for treating stroke, substance addictions, OCD, PTSD, smoking cessation, and Parkinson’s disease.
Achieve TMS is America’s Largest TMS Provider
With multiple convenient locations to serve patients suffering with depression, Achieve TMS is America’s largest dTMS provider. With years of experience and expertise treating MDD with TMS, the compassionate professional staff at Achieve TMS offers a comfortable, therapeutic environment designed to promote healing. Interested in learning more about what is TMS, call us for a free consultation at (877) 447-6503.