TMS Therapy Q & A
What is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS therapy is a non-invasive treatment where magnetic pulses are delivered to stimulate nerve cells in a part of the brain that is important for controlling mood. This region of the brain is often underactive in patients with depression. Repeated stimulation of this part of the brain has proven to produce an antidepressant effect on people suffering from depression.
TMS therapy is often recommended in cases where psychotherapy and medications have not delivered great results. It may also be used for patients who experience side effects from psychiatric medications.
What does TMS therapy treat?
TMS therapy can treat both OCD and Depression, which both affect mental functioning and emotions. After an extensive and advanced psychological evaluation, it will be determined if TMS is an appropriate fit for you.
TMS might be a part of your comprehensive treatment plan for:
Treatment-Resistant Depression (those who do not respond adequately to multiple antidepressant medication trials within in a window of time)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
TMS therapy will not be an option for you if: you get seizures, you have any devices in your head such as deep brain stimulators, electrodes, cochlear implants, or you have head tattoos with metallic ink. Be sure to let your provider know if this is the case for you.
What should I expect during TMS therapy?
TMS therapy might sound intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with the process. Our team here at Labyrinth Psychiatry Group can answer any questions you might have, so you are more comfortable throughout the process. After removing any earrings or other magnet-sensitive items, the procedure can begin being set up.
Before we begin the treatment, a pair of ear plugs will be given to you to reduce some of the noise produced by the coil. You will then get set up in a comfortable chair as your technician takes some measurements to adjust the machine’s settings and coil.
The TMS coil goes on the front of your head, so the pulses can reach the frontal lobe of your brain. The machine releases electromagnetic pulses every few seconds which feel like a slight tapping sensation. This tapping is not painful, but if you are having slight discomfort, the technician will adjust the coil for you.
To get ideal results from TMS, patients should come in for five sessions per week for about 6-8 weeks. Patients will have a more specific idea of the number of treatments needed after an initial evaluation. Treatments are between 19-45 minutes in length, depending on the diagnosis.
You may experience mild side effects, such as headaches, but overall TMS is extremely well tolerated. You can expect to drive yourself to and from your TMS treatment as it will not cause sedation. This treatment does not require any anesthesia and there are no activity limitations after the treatment session. To learn more about TMS therapy and how it might be a great fit for you ,call or request an appointment online today!