What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a clinically proven and FDA-cleared treatment for depression. TMS works by sending short magnetic pulses to target the affected area of the brain – stimulating and activating neural pathways so that the inactive signals begin firing and working again.
Depression 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.
Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions offers both traditional and accelerated protocols of TMS. To learn more about the differences, read our blog post here and download our infographics here.
How does transcranial magnetic stimulation work?
During depression, the brain is not operating at full capacity in the areas responsible for emotional regulation. Signals along the neural pathways that would normally regulate moods and emotions do not work properly when a person is depressed.
TMS is non-invasive and works by sending short magnetic pulses to the areas of the brain affected by depression – stimulating and activating neural pathways to restore the emotional control center.
Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions uses state-of-the-art neuro navigation technology known at The Atlas, developled by MagVenture. The TMS device uses a magnetic coil to create an electromagnetic field that delivers pulses of energy through your skull. Standard TMS treatment transmits around 3,000 pulsed stimulations in each session. These treatments stimulate neural pathways to help restore the emotional control center of the brain and ultimately resolve depression.
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.
With a traditional TMS protocol, you need to undergo TMS treatments five times a week for 6 weeks and then have 6 additional sessions that are tapered over 3 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 a two week protocol, with 4 treatment sessions taking place every day. While this version of TMS is not covered by insurance, many patients choose this option for the faster results.
To learn more about the differences between traditional and accelerated TMS, read our blog post here and download our infographics here.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is TMS covered by insurance?
Traditional TMS (a 9-week protocol) is FDA approved and covered by insurance. Accelerated TMS is not currently approved by insurance.
What are common side effects of TMS?
TMS is non-invasive and the most common side effect is a slight headache after treatment.
Can I receive TMS treatment in conjunction with IV ketamine or Spravato?
TMS can be paired with IV ketamine or Spravato, if Dr. Giles thinks the patient’s symptoms warrant it.
How long am I in the clinic?
Traditional TMS treatments are typically 30 minutes/session. Accelerated TMS treatments are 3.5 hours/session. Learn more about these differences here.
Can I drive home afterwards?
Is somebody with me for the entirety of the treatment?
- Our clinical staff observes and supports our patients 100% of the time during treatments. Unlike some treatment facilities, a physician is onsite and available at all times during treatment.