What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS) is a highly effective treatment for depression that was approved by the FDA in October 2008. TMS uses magnetic pulses, similar in strength to magnetic resonance imaging or MRI machines, to electrically stimulate nerve cells in small underactive regions of the brain that are thought to control mood in order to relieve symptoms of depression. TMS therapy is noninvasive and does not use medication so patients don’t suffer the side effects that often accompany antidepressant medication, such as nausea, weight gain or memory loss.

You Don’t Have To Keep Suffering With A Depressive Illness

Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Yet 50% of people with major depression don’t seek treatment or help. Some think the feelings or symptoms will just go away and don’t recognize it as a mental disorder. Others don’t want to be prescribed an antidepressant for life. There are also some people who are simply too embarrassed to talk about it with their physician. But you should know that there are a variety of treatment options to help you—and some are non-invasive and drug free. There is no reason to continue to suffer with depression.

Depression Fact: There is no “one-size-fits-all” for treatment for depression because no two people are affected the same way. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you. –National Institute of Mental Health

Depression Risk Factors

  • Having a personal or family history of depression
  • Undergoing major life changes, trauma or stress
  • Being treated for certain physical illnesses
  • Taking certain medications

What is TMS used for?

Major Depressive Disorder

In 2008, the FDA approved the use of TMS therapy as a noninvasive treatment for major depression disorder. People suffering from major depression often have severe difficulty working, sleeping, concentrating, eating and enjoying life. Many individuals with major depressive conditions also struggle with the adverse side effects of antidepressant medication and treatment-resistant symptoms.

Success Rates

Studies have found that TMS has an 82% success rate in treating people with resistant depression. On average, these patients have showed a 75% improvement of their symptoms and the severity of their depression.

Remission Rates

In one of the largest studies of patients treated with TMS for depression, around 60% of participants reduced their symptoms by at least 50% (responded) and around 30% of participants no longer met the criteria for depression (remitted).

Treatment Cost

TMS costs average $200-$400 per session, and a full course can be between 30-40 sessions. The good news is that TMS is FDA-approved for certain mental health conditions, including Treatment-Resistant Depression, and therefore, is a procedure covered under some insurance policies.

Side Effects

In general, TMS side effects are mild and improve shortly after treatment. Patients may experience a headache, irritation or discomfort at the treatment site, tingling of facial muscles or light headedness. Seizures or hearing loss may be a very rare occurrence.

TRD - What is Treatment Resistant Depression?

Treatment Resistant Depression is when an individual doesn’t respond to traditional depression treatments such as antidepressant medication or psychotherapy. Depression may be considered treatment resistant if a person doesn’t respond to two different antidepressants from different classes. Roughly two-thirds of patients are not helped by the first antidepressant prescribed and one-third of patients will not respond to multiple interventions.

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