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What happens after I respond to TMS?

It is advisable that you have regular follow-ups with your treating clinician after you respond to TMS. This should help to consolidate your recovery and in order to agree on a treatment plan if you start having depressive symptoms again. A lot of patients who respond to TMS maintain their improvement without having additional treatments for at least a year. However, there is a group of patients who might re-experience depressive symptoms after responding to TMS. For this group of patients, the treating clinician might decide to reintroduce TMS. These are sometimes called booster or rescue TMS and if you responded to your initial course of TMS it is highly likely you will respond to TMS again. In addition, if TMS is reintroduced sooner in the onset of depression, typically patients require fewer TMS booster sessions to stabilize their mood. Some patients might need to have what we call maintenance TMS sessions. This involves the patient having regularly scheduled TMS sessions once every few weeks in order to maintain mood stability. The frequency of these maintenance TMS sessions is usually decided after a discussion between the patient and their treating clinician while taking different factors into account. Your treating clinician might also suggest prescribing you medication (such as an antidepressant) to consolidate your recovery, deal with recurrence of symptoms or to protect you against relapsing.

In summary, a good proportion of patients who respond to TMS maintain their improvement without further interventions and for patients who re-experience depressive symptoms TMS can still help them to overcome these symptoms.

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