What is TMS?
- TMS Therapy is a new brain stimulation treatment for patients suffering from psychiatric and neurological conditions who have not achieved satisfactory improvement with standardized treatment.
- TMS is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for major depression and has shown promise in other psychiatric conditions.
- TMS Therapy does not involve surgery.
- Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, it does not require any anesthesia or sedation. It is done while the patient is awake and alert.
- Unlike medications, it does not circulate in the body’s blood stream.
How does TMS work?
- A magnetic coil is placed on the left or right side of your head,
- The device sends just enough electromagnetic energy to activate your brain cells.
- TMS does not affect the whole brain, but focuses specifically on certain regions associated with your psychiatric or neurologic symptoms.
How do I receive TMS?
- TMS is an outpatient procedure, performed in your doctor’s office.
- Each treatment session lasts approximately 40 minutes.
- At least 5 treatments per week over a period of 4 to 6 weeks (Average of 20-30 treatments) are needed for a full course.
TMS therapy for depression
- TMS Therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for Major Depressive Disorder.
- Patients receiving TMS therapy can also experience improvement in their anxiety symptoms, sleep, pains and energy.
- TMS may not be effective for all patients with depression.
- Any signs or symptoms of worsening depression, including wishes of dying, should be reported immediately to your doctor.
- You may want to ask a family member or caregiver to monitor your symptoms to help you spot any signs of worsening depression.
What is it like to receive ECT?
- ECT involves general anesthesia under medical supervision.
- After you are asleep, a carefully controlled amount of electricity will be passed between two electrodes that have been placed on your head.
- The electrical current produces a seizure in the brain, which lasts for approximately one minute.
- The medication used to relax your muscles will greatly soften the contractions in your body that accompany the seizure. You will be given oxygen to breathe.
- Few minutes later, the anesthetic medications will wear off and you will awaken.
- You will not be able to drive throughout and 2 weeks after your treatment
- You should avoid major life or financial decisions while you are undergoing ECT
How can I benefit from TMS?
- Your depression will get better.
- You will not experience side effects associated with drug therapies like weight gain, sexual problems, stomach problems, sleepiness, or dry mouth
- TMS will not impair your memory or ability to concentrate.
What are the side effects of TMS?
- You will experience mild to moderate scalp pain or discomfort during the treatment session. This will occurs less frequently after the first week of treatment.
- TMS produces a loud click with each magnetic pulse. You should wear earplugs or hearing protection devices to avoid the discomfort.
- Seizures (sometimes called convulsions or fits) have been reported with TMS devices. You should inform your doctor if you ever had a seizure in the past.
Contraindications to using TMS
- TMS should not be used by anyone who has magnetic-sensitive metal in their head or within 30 cm of the TMS coil that cannot be removed. Failure to follow this restriction could result in serious injury or death.
Objects that may have this kind of metal include:
- Aneurysm clips or coils
- Stents (artificial ‘tube’ inserted into a natural passage in the body to prevent, or counteract, a disease-induced, localized flow constriction.)
- Implanted Stimulators
- Electrodes to monitor your brain activity
- Ferromagnetic implants in your ears or eyes
- Bullet or shrapnel fragments
- Other metal devices or objects implanted in the head
Am I a candidate for TMS therapy?
- TMS therapy can be an alternative treatment for you if:
- You have tried several attempts at using antidepressants and or psychotherapy without any satisfactory improvement
- Or if you cannot tolerate the side effects of medication