What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a noninvasive form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. This procedure is highly recommended to those with treatment refractory depression, treatment refractory PTSD, treatment resistant OCD, and treatment resistant anxiety and for those when other depression treatments haven’t been effective.
How long does it take?
Typically, a patient will come in for treatment 5 days per week at 20 minutes per treatment. After 2-6 months or in some cases a year or more, patients experience improvement in their symptoms. One 2013 study to examine 12-month outcomes for patients who completed TMS depression treatment found that after a year, 68% had improved symptoms, and 45% were in complete remission. TMS side effects have not been proven to worsen symptoms of depression in studies or clinical trials.
Does prolonged exposure to TMS cause negative side effects?
You may be wondering whether prolonged exposure to TMS treatment will cause any negative effects down the road. The FDA has approved TMS treatments for depression and OCD, and clinical studies have been conducted to research long-term TMS risks. There are no adverse effects associated with long-term TMS therapy. TMS is best suited for patients who have struggled with depression and have not experienced relief from antidepressants, or those who have not been able to take antidepressants due to intolerable side effects.
For some patients, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) may be considered as a psychiatric treatment where a generalized seizure is electrically induced to manage refractory mental disorders. Acute Pain Therapies will be offering ECT soon. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are 2 different depression treatments. Both are proven to have very positive effects on a patient’s mental health. They have become increasingly popular in healthcare because of their effectiveness.
If you or a loved one is suffering from treatment resistant depression, anxiety, OCD or PTSD, please contact our office for a consultation or ask your psychiatrist for a referral to Dr. Molly Davis. Most insurance companies will cover this treatment.