Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe, non-invasive, and FDA-approved treatment for patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) and other brain health issues.

 

  • TMS is non-invasive and requires no sedation.
  • TMS uses magnetic pulses similar to an MRI to stimulate parts of the brain that regulate mood. The pulses encourage the brain to produce the mood regulating chemicals naturally as well as form new neural connections, alleviating your depression
  • TMS is proven safe and effective with virtually no side effects. Unlike antidepressants—which manage symptoms only
  • TMS therapy treats the cause of the medical condition itself to restore and strengthen neural networks affecting your mood.
  • TMS therapy has proven to be more effective than antidepressants and other depression treatments, especially in patients who have reported a negative response to medication alone.
is tms right for me?

IS TMS RIGHT FOR ME?

  • Have you taken more than 1 anti-depressant medication?
  • Have medications failed to provide adequate benefit for your depression?
  • Do the side effects from medication outweigh the benefit?
  • Has depression increased your doctor visits for other healthcare conditions?
  • Is depression affecting your ability to make a living?
  • Does depression still have too much control over your life?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then TMS is a treatment option for you.

how does tms work?

During the procedure a powerful electromagnet is placed over an area of the brain associated with mood regulation. Magnetic pulses are then delivered consecutively to stimulate nerves and depolarize superficial cortical neurons in the brain. TMS treatment requires no surgery or sedation of any kind and patients can resume regular activity immediately after each treatment session.

how safe is tms?

TMS Therapy has been shown to be well tolerated and the TMS Therapy has been demonstrated to be safe in clinical trials. Throughout over 10,000 active treatments performed in clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effect related to treatment was scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect was generally mild to moderate, and occurred less frequently after the first week of treatment. Less than 5% of patients treated with NeuroStar TMS Therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.

 

In clinical trials, over 10,000 TMS treatments demonstrated its safety, with no occurrence of seizures. However, there is a very small risk of a seizure occurring during treatment, which is typically due to alcohol consumption the night before or immediately prior to treatment. This risk is no greater than what has been observed with oral antidepressant medications.

 

While TMS Therapy has been demonstrated to be effective, not all patients will benefit from it. Patients should be carefully monitored for worsening symptoms, signs or symptoms of suicidal behavior, and/or unusual behavior. Families and caregivers should also be aware of the need to observe patients and notify their treatment provider if symptoms worsen.

IS TMS Therapy system cleared by the fda?

TMS is FDA-approved for MDD (Major Depression Disorder)

what are the tms response rates?

Response rates to TMS exceed that of medication in treatment resistant patients.

  • The evidence for the clinical efficacy of TMS in the treatment of depression is considerable, spanning more than 30 controlled clinical research studies, including NIMH sponsored studies.
  • No change in daily activities
  • Adopted by insurers covering 216 million US lives
is tms therapy like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?

Electroconvulsive therapy, or “shock therapy,” is a considerably more intense treatment in which seizures are intentionally induced to treat depression. Patients undergoing ECT must receive general anesthesia and muscle relaxers to prevent the seizures from causing injury. Furthermore, ECT requires a significant amount of recovery time and patients are often put under close observation after treatment. Potential side effects of ECT include confusion and memory loss.

According to an article by the Psychiatric Times comparing Electroconvulsive therapy and TMS as a remedy for Treatment Resistant Depression, the rate of adverse effects was more common for people who had received ECT. In another study cited in the same article, “on follow-up, up to 60% of the ECT group reported short- or intermediate-term adverse effects, mostly memory loss. In comparison, 30% of the TMS group reported minor, short-term effects such as headaches during treatment, which resolved within a few hours.

is tms covered by insurance?

Yes. TMS is covered by most insurance plans.  In fact, TMS has been adopted by insurers covering more than 275 million US lives.

When you visit for your free consultation or video appointment, we will check your insurance benefits and coverage, and always obtain pre-authorization from your insurance before ever starting therapy. Our philosophy is to ensure all patients are well informed of their benefits and any out-of-pocket expense they may have prior to ever starting TMS therapy. 

does tms cause memory loss or brain tumors?

No, TMS Therapy uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause tumors or memory loss. The magnetic energy used in a full course of TMS Therapy is a small fraction of just one brain scan with an MRI.

What is the difference between rTMS, TMS and dTMS (Deep TMS) ?

TMS was initially used by scientists and doctors using only single magnetic pulses for research or diagnostic purposes. Using TMS as a treatment came later and when used therapeutically, thousands of repetitive pulses are used, hence rTMS. As the therapeutic use of TMS has become widespread, the “r” has been increasingly dropped from usage, but all TMS used in treatment uses repetitive pulses and could be called rTMS.

Deep TMS (dTMS) is a term created by Brainsway Ltd. of Israel to describe the TMS magnets that they sell. There is no accepted scientific definition of Deep TMS, and this term is only used by this company and its researchers.

Is Deep TMS better?

There is no research anywhere that shows that “Deep” TMS has any advantage over standard TMS in the treatment of Depression. When the FDA approved the Brainsway magnet used to treat depression (the Hesed-1 coil) in 2013, they did so by determining it to be equivalent to another FDA approved TMS magnet.  

The FDA considers them to be in the same therapeutic category and makes no distinction between them. The area of the brain being treated in Depression is in the cortex or outer layer of the brain, and all TMS devices FDA approved for use in Depression are designed to reach this target. There is a documented higher seizure rate with Deep TMS devices however.

Is TMS Therapy uncomfortable?

A little bit, and mostly just in the beginning. The most common side effect of TMS is scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect is generally mild to moderate, and goes down after the first week of treatment. In studies, less than 5% of patients treated with TMS discontinued treatment due to side effects.

Our technicians are highly skilled in reducing any discomfort and can make sure the treatment is easily tolerable for you.

Can I also take antidepressants if I am receiving TMS Therapy?

Yes. In clinical trials, TMS Therapy was safely administered with and without other antidepressant medications.

covered by most insurance plans

you are not alone

If you are one of the 16 million Americans who suffer from Major Depression and antidepressants are not working or you have intolerable side effects, there is hope. Over 2.5 million patients have been successfully treated with TMS.Click below to schedule your free consultation and find out if TMS Therapy is right for you.

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