Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
The most advanced form of treatment for depression that offers long-lasting relief from debilitating symptoms.
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Magstim TMS Therapy
The Brains Behind TMS™
Finding the right treatment can take time, but TMS therapy may be the right treatment that can make you
feel like YOU again.
Learn How TMS Therapy Works
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation, also known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), is a non-invasive, FDA-approved form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to target a very specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. The goal is to stimulate the neurons in the targeted area to produce neurochemicals that are lacking in people with depression.
- With repeated sessions, the goal is to restore the neural pathways to enhance performance and communication with other areas of the brain.
Benefits of TMS Therapy
TMS is covered by most major insurance networks for adult patients with a diagnosis of depression who have tried at least two or more antidepressant medications and some type of therapy. TMS requires a physician order and most insurances require the treatment to e performed by a TMS therapy certified psychiatrist. Dr. Nwedo is a board certified psychiatrist and is TMS therapy certified.
- Lift in overall mood
- Improved sleep
- No systemic side effects, such as those often experienced with antidepressant medications
- Decrease in irritability, aches and pains, and fatigue
- Increase in vigor for life
Frequently Asked Questions
1). Is TMS Therapy like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?
No, the two procedures are very different. While both are effective in the treatment of depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability.
During TMS Therapy, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire treatment – there is no sedation or medications of any kind needed. Unlike ECT, there are no undesired side effects, such as, memory loss, confusion, muscle aches and pain, or psychosis. ECT requires a patient to be inpatient and anesthesia is required before a seizure is induced. TMS is a brief outpatient therapy that not involve any type of shock and patients immediately return to their normal activities.
2). Is TMS Therapy like other alternative therapies which use magnets to treat some illnesses?
No. TMS Therapy involves a unique method of using pulsed magnetic fields for therapeutic benefit. The intensity of the magnetic field is similar to that of the magnetic fields used in magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. These techniques differ significantly from the popular use of low intensity, static magnetic fields. These products deliver weak and undirected static fields that are not capable of activating brain cells.
3). What are the potential risks of TMS Therapy?
TMS has been shown to be well tolerated and the The most common reported side effect related to treatment was scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect is generally mild to moderate, and occurred less frequently after the first week of treatment.
There is a very slight risk of a seizure occurring during treatment, which is typically due to heavy alcohol consumption the night before or immediately prior to treatment. This risk is no greater than what has been observed with oral antidepressant medications.
A mild headache has also been noted to be a mild side effect in some patients. However, headaches generally subside after the first week of treatment and can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
While TMS has been demonstrated to be effective for the majority of patients receiving treatment, not all patients will benefit from it and should be monitored for worsening symptoms.
Your TMS consultation visit is your first visit or our TMS clinic. During this time you will complete your TMS Intake Registration and a TMS Certified Technician or the doctor will meet with you to evaluate if TMS is right for your condition. We will thoroughly review TMS with you and answer any questions you may have about TMS therapy. During this visit we will also screen for the severity of your depression, anxiety, or other symptoms.
Unless seen by the doctor or psychiatric nurse practitioner, there is no charge for your TMS consultation visit.
It is important that you bring your health insurance card and driver’s license, as we will need to make a copy so that we can obtain any appropriate prior authorization with your insurance provider. It would also be very helpful to bring a list of your current medications, along with current dosages you are taking and approximately when you started the medication.
To obtain a prior authorization, we will also need to know what other psychiatric medications you have taken in the past, especially any antidepressant medications, along with approximate start and stop dates.
Lastly, we will also need to know whether or not you have previously or are currently seeing a counselor or therapist. If you’ve seen a therapist or counselor in the past, if you recall their name and approximate dates of service, this would be helpful in obtaining a prior authorization.
TMS Therapy Mapping Session
The TMS therapy mapping is your first session. During this visit Dr. Nwedo will map (locate) the area of the brain to be treated. In patients with depression, this area is just above the left eyebrow and is called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Once located, the physician will determine your motor threshold (MT), which is the minimal strength or intensity required to invoke a response or stimulation of the targeted neurons.
Upon finding the area to be treated, you will receive your first treatment.
TMS is not painful in general. However, everybody perceives pain differently. So there is a minimal chance that you may perceive the first few treatments as ‘uncomfortable’. Rest assured, that after your first week this uncomfortableness will subside.
TMS Treatment Sessions
Your daily TMS treatment sessions should be relaxing and brief. Depending on the protocol used, treatment sessions may last anywhere from 3 minutes to 19 minutes.
Regular depression screenings and an assessment of current symptoms will be performed daily. The routine treatment sessions are done by a TMS therapy certified neuromodulation technician.
It is important to let your primary care doctor or psychiatrist know that you are receiving TMS therapy. Medication changes are generally not recommended during the course of treatment, as this can affect outcomes depending on the medication.
Standard TMS treatment involves five days a week, Monday through Friday, for approximately six weeks, with the six remaining sessions performed over the course of three more weeks.
For theta-burst TMS, patients receive several treatment sessions in a day for approximately one week.
Post TMS Follow-Up
At your last session, you will receive Post TMS instructions and will be entered into our TMS follow-up program.
One of the greatest comments by post TMS patients is “What do I do now that I feel better than I’ve felt in years”. Because the symptoms of depression can be so debilitating, it is important to have some sort of plan to begin enjoying your life.
While TMS is very effective for most, unfortunately it is not a permanent cure. With our post TMS program, we will continue to check on you so that we can facilitate treatment in the event your symptoms begin to resurface.
The average length of remission is approximately one year. However, everybody responds a bit differently. So, while some may experience remission much longer, others may begin to experience the return of symptoms earlier.
Insurance will generally cover TMS, for those who meet specific criteria, every 6 months. Should you experience symptoms prior to 6 months from the date of your last TMS therapy treatment session, maintenance treatments may be recommended.
Say “NO” to Depression
TMS Offers Remission
Magstim TMS Patient Testimonials
Magstim TMS offers long-term relief from undesired, life-robbing symptoms
Rod’s TMS Story
TMS therapy “gives me the opportunity to actually live my life for the first time.” – Rod
Desiree’s TMS Story
“I have been in remission for 2 years from TMS therapy and I probably had depression for 55 years.” – Desiree
Tish’s TMS Story
“TMS therapy has truly given me new hope!” – Tish
TMS Helps with Geriatric Depression
As a non-invasive therapy with a high degree of tolerability, one of the advantages of TMS is its safety and efficacy. Side effects are minimal when they do occur, and typically very mild. The gentle nature of TMS is especially important when it concerns the older adult. Considering that the magnetic stimulation is localized, namely, limited to a certain area of the body, TMS can be quite forgiving for patients who are physically frail and/or taking multiple medications.
TMS Offers Hope for Remission
Teen depression and anxiety can be crippling, and can even rob the livelihood of our younger generation.
TMS is non-invasive, and can be safe alternative to medications, especially in the teenage population. TMS therapy offers hope to this generation and their parents, and can bring healing for a much happier, healthier quality of life.
TMS for Treatment Resistant Depression
Until recently, all physicians had to help their patients with treatment resistant depression was continued medication trials, therapy, and recommendations for lifestyle changes. With the FDA-approval of TMS therapy, physicians now have a better option to treat stubborn depression in those resistant to medications. TMS offers long-term relief and is covered by most major insurance providers.
Unfortunately, depression is not reserved for adults. Children and adolescents suffer from depression too. While TMS is typically not covered by insurance for adolescents, it can be a life-changing treatment option for your child. For many parents, TMS is preferred over medications due to the high risk of side effects experienced from antidepressants.