TMS Therapy Specialist

Labyrinth Psychiatry Group

Psychiatrist located in Cranford, NJ, Central NJ, and Union County

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an FDA approved 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 part of the brain is often underactive in patients with Major Depressive Disorder. The FDA has also recently approved TMS Therapy for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The TMS Sessions take place in our office under the supervision of a trained technician and licensed professional. Call the office or book your appointment online for a TMS therapy consultation today!

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 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 earplugs 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.

Is TMS Covered by Health Insurance?

TMS therapy is covered by Medicare and most commercial insurance companies. Many insurance companies pay for TMS therapy for depression because it’s effective and FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

While most insurance companies cover TMS therapy, they will only do so if TMS treatment is determined to be “medically necessary” according to the specific guidelines of your plan.  Guidelines vary slightly from company to company and from plan to plan, but tend to have some of the following things in common: 

  • A diagnosis of depression
  • Attempts at resolving depression with antidepressant medications with no significant lasting improvement
  • A history of therapy or counseling carried out by licensed professionals
  • No history of seizures or seizure disorder

Insurance Eligibility for Conditions Other than Depression

Although the FDA approved TMS for treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in 2018, many insurance companies still do not cover it yet. Furthermore, even though PTSD, Bipolar Depression, and anxiety also can benefit from TMS, the FDA has yet to approve its use for these disorders. Consequently, insurance companies often will not cover TMS treatment for them.

How Can I Find Out if My Insurance Plan Will Cover TMS for Me?

For us to determine if you can benefit from TMS and if your insurance company would cover your treatment, we would have to do a thorough evaluation of your personal history and insurance benefits.  Sometimes we can do this through a records request from your current physician or therapist, although many times one of our licensed mental health providers would have to formally evaluate you through a telehealth or in office visit.  If you would like us to explore your eligibility further, please click the below link and provide us with some basic information about your prior treatment, and someone from our office will get back to you to answer your questions and explain the process further.

To learn more about TMS therapy and how it might be a great fit for you, call or request an appointment online today!

 

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