How TMS Treats Anxiety and Depression
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses a targeted pulsed magnetic field, similar to what is used in an MRI machine to deliver magnetic pulses to the area of the brain with weakened neurotransmitter activity causing depression.
During the TMS procedure, the patient wears a padded helmet which activates the magnetic pulses and is awake and alerts the entire time.
In-office TMS treatments take 6-19 minutes and are administered 5 days a week for approximately 4-6 weeks.
What you can expect from a TMS Therapy session
TMS for depression & anxiety
TMS treatments have been tested and approved by the FDA since 2008. The treatment is completely non-invasive. The patient is alert and fully awake during the entire session. Over a period of 15 years and millions of treatments TMS has shown to be well tolerated with little reported systemic side effects.
During the TMS treatment patients will feel a very short rapid 2-second pulse-like tapping against their foreheads. This happens in 20-second intervals. It is not painful and is often described as experiencing the tapping of a woodpecker.
Some patients will feel scalp discomfort with a possible mild to moderate headache during session. This mostly dissipates after the session, and markedly improves after the first few treatments. The TMS technician will monitor the pulse intensity to insure the patient’s comfort. After the sessions patients can resume normal activities.
Studies show that TMS provides substantial relief from depression in 70%-80% of the cases with more than half of patients experiencing complete remission. Most patients feel a positive difference in their moods by the 2nd or 3rd week. For others it could take 4-5 weeks.