TMS is a safe and effective non-invasive treatment for individuals with treatment-refractory depression and other mood and anxiety disorders. TMS is a non-systemic form of neuromodulation which uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate neurons in the prefrontal cortex.
- Bipolar Depression
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Auditory Hallucinations
- Chronic Pain
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Patients remain awake and alert throughout the treatments, which typically last about 20 minutes. Treatments are given Monday through Friday, five times per week for six weeks, often followed by a three-week taper period of fewer treatments per week. Patients typically complete about 36 treatments over the nine-week period.
The magnetic coil used in TMS stimulates nerve cells in the area of the brain responsible for mood regulation, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This triggers the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. As the stimulation is repeated, this neuronal activity eventually becomes self-sustained. This process, called “neuroplasticity,” involves actual changes within the brain, which allows the benefits of TMS to persist after treatment ends. With increased activation in this area of the brain, patients’ symptoms diminish and patients may achieve remission of their depression.
Our clinical team administers weekly assessments to measure each patient’s progress during and after treatment. The majority of our patients come to us with “treatment refractory depression” meaning they had previously received minimal or no relief from 4 or more antidepressants. Over 80% of our patients have a response to TMS therapy.
TMS therapy is well tolerated and has been proven to be safe in clinical trials. Over 1 million TMS treatments have been performed in the US, with low complications and side-effects. The most commonly reported side effect related to treatment was mild to moderate scalp discomfort during treatment sessions which can typically be managed with over the counter pain medicine. TMS therapy also produces a clicking sound, so earplugs are provided for each treatment. However, there is a small risk of a seizure occurring during treatment, estimated at 1 in 10,000, which is no greater than from most antidepressant medications. Prior to your treatment, your doctor will discuss other much rarer side effects with you, as well as any medical issues that may need to be monitored during your treatment course.
Our clinics have performed over 25,000 treatments, with excellent success and very few side effect issues. Our expertise in this newer form of treatment is one reason that many people have sought care at our clinics.
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