Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
What is TMS?
TMS is a Non-invasive FDA cleared procedure that is prescribed and administered in our clinic by a licensed and trained psychiatric provider. It is for use in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adults ages 22 to 70 who have failed to gain positive results from antidepressant medications.
How does it work?
The Neurostar ® TMS System treatment coil is positioned gently on the left front side of the head over a region of the brain known as the Prefrontal Cortex. The treatment coil then produces MRI – strength magnetic field pulses that pass unimpeded through the cranium for 2-3cm and induce a small electric current. These electric currents created in the brain awaken nerve cells in the region that become active in turn affecting other nerve cells deeper into the brain that are crucial to your mood.
Each session is scheduled for 40 minutes with the treatment time being under 20 minutes.
The typical treatment course consists of 5 treatments per week over a 4 – 6 week period totaling 20 to 30 sessions. The exact number of treatments each patient receives will be discussed and determined by the psychiatric provider.
When can TMS not be used?
Neurostar ® TMS Therapy should not be used in patients who have magnetic – sensitive metals implanted I their head or within 12 inches of the treatment coil. Neurostar ® TMS Therapy should not be used I patients that have an implanted device that may not properly function it the presence of the system. The Psychiatric provide along with the TMS Coordinator will assist you in determining whether a device could be affected and if treatment is safe.
TMS is covered by most insurances. Our trained staff will assist you in determining whether or not treatment is covered under your insurance plan.
The following information was determined in clinical trials
Fewer than 5% of patients discontinued due to adverse effects
Side note: SSRI medications have shown in studies to exhibit side effects more than 30% of the time
None of the following common side effects of antidepressants were experienced in Neurostar TMS Therapy trials
While seizures are known they are rare. The estimated risk of seizure under ordinary clinical use is approximately 1 in 30,000 treatments (0.003% in treatments) or 1 in 1000 patients (0.1% of patients). The most common side effects were headaches and temporary pain or discomfort at the area of the head where the treatment coil is placed. Headaches got better over time and could be relieved using common over-the-counter medications.