We here at Solace Psychiatry are happy to offer TMS therapy to our patients. Our priority is to help patients achieve the relief they seek from depressive symptoms. If you are interested in these services, ask about our TMS therapy today!
WHAT IS TMS ?
TMS stands for “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.” TMS is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared medical procedure for the treatment of depression in adults. TMS is a brain stimulation technique that relies on the generation of brief magnetic fields using an insulated coil that is securely placed over the pre-frontal region of the head. These magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. The pulses generate a weak magnetic current in the brain that briefly activate neural circuits at the stimulation site. TMS has been shown to serve as a safe and well-tolerated procedure that is an effective way to treat adult depression for those who have not been able to benefit from antidepressants. The potential benefit of TMS is the relief of depressive symptoms. Like all forms of medical treatment, some patients experience benefits quickly with long-lasting symptom relief, while others recover briefly and later relapse due to external factors, and others may fail to respond at all to TMS therapy. The advantage of TMS treatment is that it the side effects are minimal to none, and it does not interfere with any medication.
TMS FAQ’S – TMS BASICS
What is the science behind TMS?
Once the TMS device is positioned, it creates a deep magnetic pulse that targets the left pre-frontal cortex. This pulse comes in rapid succession and is thought to stimulate regions of the brain that are linked to emotion. In depressed patients, these emotion-baring regions are shown to be very non-responsive compared to healthy patients.
What is TMS?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an MRI-strength magnetic pulse designed to stimulate the brain. In depression treatment, the left pre-frontal cortex is stimulated. This is the area of the brain that is responsible for connecting to a variety of important functions, but it’s particularly integral to our emotional responses.
Who can receive TMS?
TMS therapy is an appropriate treatment for adult patients with major depressive disorder who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from antidepressant medications at or above the commonly effective dose and duration. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with clinical depression or Major Depressive Disorder, then TMS Therapy may be able to help.
Who should not receive TMS?
TMS Therapy is a very well tolerated treatment and there are very few limitations as to who can receive it. However, not all patients are appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. Patients with a history of seizures or who have metal implants or objects in or near their head are not appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. To determine if TMS Therapy may be right for you, your supervising doctor or psychiatrist will carefully screen for the presence of medical conditions or metal objects which may make TMS harmful.
What if I cannot receive TMS?
If it is determined that you are not a candidate for TMS Therapy, there are other options for treatment of depression such as ECT and Vagus Nerve Stimulators (VNS). As with everything, please consult with your supervising doctor or psychiatrist to determine the best course of treatment of your depression.
Benefits & Safety
How soon until the benefits are felt?
It is commonly reported that patients need 30 to 40 sessions of TMS to derive the most benefit in the treatment of their depression symptoms. In clinical trials, 1 in 2 patients achieved significant relief of symptoms after four weeks of treatment and 1 in 3 experience complete remission after six weeks of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer.
Is TMS safe?
TMS is a generally safe procedure with over two decades of intense clinical and scientific research behind it. In 10,000 treatments during clinical trials, the most common side effects is mild to moderate scalp discomfort and mild headaches, both of which usually went away in the first week of treatments. In a very small number of instances there were reports of acute memory loss, minimal cognition interruption, facial twitching, and seizures. These side effects were acute and TMS showed no long-term issues.
What if I experience a side effect from TMS Therapy?
If you experience a side-effect, alert your TMS technician and assessing doctor. If symptoms persist, the TMS physician can reduce the strength of the magnetic field pulses being administered to make treatment more comfortable.
Less than 5 percent of patients treated with TMS Therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.