Local TMS Treatment
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a treatment for depression, targeting the prefrontal cortex through an FDA-approved device placed on the scalp. TMS therapy is effective for patients who have not responded well to traditional depression treatments. TMS Therapy is a non-invasive in-office procedure, lasting as little as 3 minutes, depending on the frequency, intensity, and range of stimulation needed. No post-treatment recovery time is required and patients are able to return to daily functions immediately following a session.
TMS is an effective alternative to managing a patient’s depression symptoms in that it offers the same amount of benefits without the side effects associated with other treatment options.
How TMS Treatment Works
Unlike other forms of brain stimulation, TMS is non-invasive, doesn’t require surgery, sedation, or anesthesia, and has no impact on memory or cognition. TMS therapy uses magnetic energy pulses similar to MRI machines to safely activate mood-regulating areas of the brain.
Patients have reported fewer side effects from TMS than medications. Unlike medications, TMS is a non-systemic depression treatment, meaning it does not enter the bloodstream. The most common side effects of TMS include headaches and scalp discomfort. These side effects are mild to moderate and generally improve with each session.
For optimal results, TMS treatment involves daily sessions over several weeks. This treatment is referred to as repetitive TMS (rTMS). Another type of TMS therapy, deep TMS, covers a larger area and requires shorter, less frequent sessions. Patients often experience mood improvement after a few weeks of treatment.
Before receiving TMS treatment, patients are seated comfortably while the physician determines the optimal machine placement. The machine produces stimulating pulses, and the frequency and dose of magnetic energy can be adjusted based on symptoms and side effects. Patients often report long-lasting relief from depression after completing TMS therapy. If symptoms improve, ongoing treatment options may be considered alongside standard depression treatments.