Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) services offered in Sandy Springs, GA

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe, noninvasive therapy that helps patients with treatment-resistant depression. Experienced psychiatrist Karen Giles, MD, MS, at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions in Sandy Springs, Georgia, specializes in using cutting-edge treatments like TMS to treat long-term depression when nothing else is working. Dr. Giles also uses TMS to treat anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To learn how transcranial magnetic stimulation could benefit you, call Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions today or book an appointment online.

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

TMS is an FDA-approved therapy for depression (major depressive disorder) that doesn’t improve with traditional treatments. This means that your insurance may cover the cost of treatments if you meet certain criteria, which Dr. Giles can discuss with you.

Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions also uses TMS to help patients with anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition, it’s available as an off-label treatment for conditions like peripartum depression, postpartum depression, smoking cessation, tinnitus, chronic pain, and migraine headaches. There are also studies looking at using TMS to treat alcohol use disorder.

Depression, anxiety, and OCD are mental health conditions that can have a devastating impact on your life. The thoughts and feelings you experience are impossible to control or change without help, which for most people involves psychotherapy, medication, or both.

While these treatments are effective for many people, others find that their symptoms fail to improve. If you’re in this position, TMS offers an effective solution.


How does transcranial magnetic stimulation work?

Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions uses state-of-the-art MagVenture TMS technology. The TMS device uses an electromagnetic coil to create a magnetic field that delivers pulses of energy through your skull. Standard TMS treatment transmits around 2,340 pulsed stimulations in each session.

The pulses produce electrical currents in a specific part of your brain that controls mood. The resulting brain activity increases the release of neurotransmitters — brain chemicals that enable neurons (nerve cells) to communicate.

Levels of important mood-influencing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are typically low in people with depression, OCD, and anxiety. 

Repeated TMS treatments increase neurotransmitter levels and encourage new synapses (connections) to form. These changes significantly improve mood and ease your symptoms.


What happens when I have transcranial magnetic stimulation?

You don’t need any sedation or anesthetic for TMS. It’s a noninvasive procedure that causes minimal discomfort. You can drive yourself to and from each treatment and go about your day afterwards. 

When you attend your TMS sessions at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions, you sit in a comfortable treatment chair while Dr. Giles positions the TMS coil over your head. She adjusts the settings to achieve the optimal energy output, which varies between patients.

When the treatment starts, you might hear clicking sounds and feel a tapping sensation on your head. It shouldn’t hurt, but you might have a slight headache afterward after the first 1-2 treatments.

For the best results, you need to undergo TMS treatments five times a week for 6 weeks. You will likely start to notice improvement in your symptoms by the 4th week. Your family and friends often notice improvement in you sooner.

Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions also offers accelerated TMS for faster results. Accelerated TMS is more intense, with up to 4 treatment sessions taking place every day. However, this cuts the treatment time down to two weeks. This method is not usually covered by insurance at this time.

To find out more about transcranial magnetic stimulation and how it could help relieve your mental health condition, call Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions today or request an appointment online.