Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as TMS, is a non-drug, non-invasive treatment for depression patients. It is a type of brain stimulation technique where pulsed magnetic fields are generated by a coil placed on the scalp.
What are the side effects?
TMS is a safe and well-tolerated treatment with few known adverse effects. Clinical studies show that the most common side effects are mild to moderate scalp discomfort and mild headaches, both of which are short-lived and can be addressed by temporarily reducing the intensity of the magnetic force.
Given that TMS does not induce a seizure, sedation and anesthesia are not required; because of this, TMS does not carry the same risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest.
Who benefits most from TMS?
TMS treatment is beneficial for people with treatment resistant depression and Major Depressive Disorder. Those who wish to avoid the side effects of antidepressants can also be helped.
So how does TMS therapy work?
The patient sits comfortably in a chair while the TMS coil is properly set in place. Then, magnetic pulses are sent to the area of the brain responsible for mood. This non-invasive treatment does not require anesthesia, and the patient can drive home afterward.
Is TMS safe?
Yes. TMS therapy was cleared by the FDA in 2008 for Major Depressive Disorder.
Does TMS therapy hurt or are there any side effects?
A few patients have reported slight headaches, toothaches, or some discomfort at the treatment site which typically goes away at the end of each treatment session.
How long does TMS treatment take?
Each TMS treatment generally takes around 20 minutes, 5 days a week for 4-6 weeks. Treatment duration may vary depending on the patient’s needs.
Is TMS used to treat anything besides depression?
Anxiety is commonly treated with TMS. Studies have shown that TMS can also help treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anorexia, Epilepsy, Chronic Pain, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke Rehabilitation, and Tinnitus.
Is TMS treatment better than antidepressants?
Antidepressants are ingested and systemic-affect the entire body. With antidepressants, there are side effects such as weight gain, decreased libido, nausea, and constipation. TMS helps the brain function in a more natural, healthy way.
Is TMS better than Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?
Both treatments have been found to help. However, ECT is very invasive. ECT requires anesthesia, electrodes, and electric shocks, often resulting in memory loss. TMS therapy uses safe, non-invasive magnetic pulses.
Will TMS treatment affect my current medications?
Patients usually stay on their regular antidepressants throughout the TMS treatment. After that, your doctor, or one of our doctors, can help you determine how to proceed.
Does insurance cover TMS treatment?
Since more people are benefiting from TMS therapy, more insurance companies are starting to cover it. We can help you find out whether or not your insurance will cover treatment.
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