About TMS Therapy
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a highly effective, noninvasive, brain stimulation outpatient therapy that was cleared by the FDA for depression in 2008 and for obsessive-compulsive disorder in 2018. TMS was originally used in the 1980s for brain mapping purposes and has since been used to successfully treat many illnesses. TMS uses a high intensity magnet to focally stimulate neurons (brain cells). TMS therapy is well-tolerated and covered by most insurances.
What to know when you are considering TMS
What is TMS?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS is a non-invasive, diagnostic...
How does it work?
TMS delivers magnetic pulses to certain brain regions, producing changes in the...
How long is a typical TMS course?
Every patient is different. Most large TMS research studies provided treatment...
How long is the TMS session?
Your doctor will discuss with you the best way to administer...
How is TMS different from ECT?
Both TMS and ECT are forms of neuromodulation used to treat...
TMS uses an electromagnetic coil to create an alternating magnetic field over the scalp and this magnetic field induces small currents in the brain.
TMS is an outpatient procedure that does not require an anesthetic and patients can resume their normal life activity after the session.
Both TMS and ECT can lead to a rapid improvement in symptoms. Up to 70% of depressed patients who fail to respond to antidepressants respond to ECT and about 60% of patients who fail to respond to antidepressants respond to TMS.
Some patients who fail to respond to ECT will respond to TMS and some patients who fail to respond to TMS will respond to ECT. ECT is still considered the best treatment for some patients with very severe depression, psychotic depression or catatonia. Your doctor will advise you about which is the best treatment for you.
How is TMS different from antidepressants?
Antidepressants work by modifying the actions of neurotransmitters...
TMS does not involve the ingestion of chemicals, therefore, there are no systemic adverse effects. There is no impact on the digestive system, on sexual function, cognition and there are no allergic responses. The only side effect with TMS that is greater than 5% is transient site pain, headache which abates typically within the first week as patients desensitize to the treatment.
Antidepressants modify brain chemicals and receptors via an effect on protein synthesis, they can take between three to six weeks to work, while TMS has a faster onset of action. Studies show that in patients who have not responded to two or three antidepressants the response rate the next antidepressant is 10-15%. If such patients are given TMS, the response rate is about 60%.
How effective is TMS?
TMS can be very effective in the treatment of depression. For over...
What conditions does TMS treat?
TMS has been tried as a treatment for different mental health and neurological...
What are the side effects of TMS?
The most common side effects of TMS are discomfort at...
Some patients may experience increased anxiety and sleep difficulties. All of these usually decrease following the first week of treatment.
TMS is a loud treatment, wearing appropriate ear plugs during sessions protects hearing. There is a very small risk that some patients will develop seizures during treatment sessions. The probability of a patient without a history of epilepsy developing seizures is 1 per 60,000 treatment sessions. This is less than the risk of seizures developing in patients who take antidepressants.
What happens after I respond to TMS?
It is advisable that you have regular follow-ups with your...
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.
What happens if I do not respond to TMS?
Around 60% of people treated with TMS respond to treatment. If...
Who cannot have TMS?
TMS is a well-tolerated treatment, the vast majority of...
- implanted electrodes
- aneurysm clips or coils
- cochlear implants
- stents in the head
- metal fragments
When will I see positive results?
The time needed for a patient to start seeing positive results...
TMS Clarifying Statement from the Clinical Standards Committee
This clarification statement on different types of TMS was produced by the Clinical Standards Committee and supported by the CTMSS Board of Directors...
As this technology has multiple uses, we would like to clarify the definition of terms to help ensure that society members, trainees, and the general public have a clear understanding of transcranial magnetic stimulation.
Repetitive TMS (rTMS)
rTMS is currently the most widespread form of TMS for clinical applications. In rTMS, magnetic pulses are delivered in a rapid series or “train.” When rTMS is used, multiple single-pulse stimuli are presented at a specific frequency, intensity, and time duration. Repetitive TMS also includes Deep TMS™ (dTMS), a trademarked term from a TMS device company.
Single Pulse TMS (spTMS)
One electromagnetic pulse is applied no faster than once every few seconds. SpTMS is most commonly used to examine connections in the motor areas of the brain.
Paired pulse TMS (ppTMS)
As a tool in research, paired pulse TMS uses 2 pulses applied out of phase to inhibit or excite brain cells within the same hemisphere or to inhibit brain cells in one hemisphere while exciting them in the other hemisphere.
The Find a Clinic feature is provided by the Clinical TMS Society (CTMSS) as a reference source of demographic information for individual member-providers internationally who have elected to make their information public. It does not include all CTMSS members; only those who chose to be included and provided information. It is not intended as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any clinic/provider listed. Inclusion of a clinic/provider does not imply endorsement or recommendation by the CTMSS of the individual nor how they practice medicine or provide TMS services, nor verification that the credentials and other information provided are accurate. Likewise, the omission of any individual does not indicate CTMSS disapproval. If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your phone book’s local government pages.