What Is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

TMS is an electromagnetic therapy treatment created specifically for individuals suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. TMS Therapy is a treatment option that is safe, effective, and covered by almost every major insurance plan.

A typical treatment includes roughly 30 sessions over a 6-week period. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes and is generally administered Monday- Friday. Prior to starting TMS your provider will do an initial evaluation to see if you meet the criteria for treatment.

TMS works by creating a deep magnetic pulse that targets the left prefrontal cortex. This rapid succession of pulses stimulates regions of the brain that are believed to be linked to emotion, including depression.

During a treatment, a TMS coil is gently placed against the patient's head. Pulses are delivered at 30-second intervals for about 30 minutes. Most patients describe the feeling as a tapping on the scalp that isn't uncomfortable. Patients also notice a clicking sound during treatment similar to an MRI machine. During treatment patients may watch movies or listen to music on their phones or tablets.

No sedatives or anesthesia are required for TMS, so there is no need to be hospitalized. This treatment is an outpatient procedure performed in the doctor's office. Upon completion, most patients are able to resume immediate normal activity.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have estimated that around 17% of adults will experience clinical depression, clinically identified as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). A typical treatment for MDD can be medication and/or psychotherapy. However, clinical studies show that almost half of those with MDD suffer from Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). These patients cannot tolerate the side effects and/or get no meaningful benefits from antidepressant medications. At the TMS Centers we specialize in evidence based alternative treatments for those struggling with TRD.  

Discuss your interest in TMS Therapy with your psychiatrist or one of our knowledgeable clinicians. They will assess your eligibility and likelihood of success with this treatment. The purpose of the initial assessment is to determine the diagnosis and evaluate the potential risks and benefits of TMS. Patients should be prepared to undergo a physical examination in preparation for the TMS assessment.

Any adult patient who suffers from major depressive disorder and who has failed to experience marked improvement from using antidepressant medications is usually eligible for TMS therapy. Most patients who receive this treatment experience success.

Those with a history of seizures or who have metal implants or objects in or near their skull are generally not considered for TMS therapy. Contact one of our knowledgeable staff members today for a free consultation.