Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

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What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure used to stimulate certain areas of the brain. It’s typically used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions.

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood regulation and depression.

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How Does TMS Work?

Magnetic Field

The coil generates a magnetic field, similar in strength to that produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

Brain Cell Stimulation: The magnetic field passes through the skull and stimulates brain cells. This can affect how this part of the brain is working, which in turn can affect your mood.

The potential benefits of TMS include a reduction in symptoms of depression and improvement in mood. One of the significant advantages of TMS is that it’s non-invasive and generally has fewer side effects compared to medications. Common side effects are generally mild and may include headache or scalp discomfort at the treatment site.

TMS is usually used when other treatments such as medications and psychotherapy haven’t been successful.

What Are The Benefits of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an innovative treatment option for various psychiatric conditions, particularly for individuals with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The primary benefits of TMS include:

Effectiveness in Treatment-Resistant Cases: TMS has shown to be effective in reducing symptoms for many individuals who haven’t responded to traditional treatment methods such as psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy.

Non-Invasive and Drug-Free: TMS does not involve surgery or any implanted devices, and it doesn’t require the administration of any medications. This means it doesn’t have the systemic side effects that can occur with medication, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, or gastrointestinal issues.

Outpatient Procedure with Minimal Downtime: The treatment is typically performed in an outpatient setting and does not require hospitalization or anesthesia. Patients can resume their usual activities immediately after each session.

Relatively Few Side Effects: The side effects of TMS are generally mild and typically improve after the first week or two of treatment. They may include headaches or discomfort at the treatment site. Unlike some medications used for depression and OCD, TMS does not lead to cognitive (thinking or memory) problems. In fact, some studies suggest it might actually improve cognitive function.

Long-term Improvement: For many people, improvements from TMS are long-lasting. Studies suggest that many people who respond to TMS treatment remain symptom-free for many months afterwards.

As promising as TMS is, it’s important to remember that it’s not effective for everyone, and individuals should discuss with their healthcare providers to determine if TMS is the right option for them.

Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation safe?

TMS is generally considered safe and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults who have not responded to at least one antidepressant medication. The most common side effects are usually mild and include headache and discomfort at the treatment site. There’s also a small risk of seizure, but this is rare. It does not have the systemic side effects associated with medications since it’s a localized treatment. That being said, not everyone is a suitable candidate for TMS, and it’s important to discuss potential risks and benefits with the TMS team at Nortex Psychiatry.

What is NeuroStar Advanced Therapy for Mental Health?

NeuroStar Advanced Therapy for Mental Health is a non-invasive treatment that uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to target specific regions of the brain associated with mood disorders, particularly depression. It’s an FDA-approved treatment for individuals who haven’t experienced sufficient improvement from antidepressant medications.

How does NeuroStar work?

NeuroStar uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. The therapy involves placing a coil near the patient’s head, which delivers repeated magnetic pulses to the targeted brain regions, particularly areas that are underactive in people with depression.

Is NeuroStar right for me?

If you’ve tried antidepressant medications and haven’t experienced adequate relief, or if you’re seeking a non-medication treatment option, NeuroStar may be suitable for you.

Could NeuroStar be right for a loved one?

If a loved one has struggled with depression and hasn’t found adequate relief with standard treatments, NeuroStar could be a potential option.

Can NeuroStar help me achieve remission from depression symptoms, and how long can it last?

Many patients treated with NeuroStar achieve significant reductions in their depression symptoms, with some even achieving remission. The duration of symptom relief can vary, but many patients experience lasting remission. Maintenance sessions might be recommended for some individuals to ensure prolonged symptom relief.

Is NeuroStar safe and does it have any side effects?

NeuroStar is FDA-approved and is generally considered safe. The most common side effect is discomfort at the treatment site during the procedure, which usually reduces over time. Other side effects can include headache, lightheadedness, and tingling.

Does NeuroStar cause memory loss?

NeuroStar is FDA-approved and is generally considered safe. The most common side effect is discomfort at the treatment site during the procedure, which usually reduces over time. Other side effects can include headache, lightheadedness, and tingling.

Do NeuroStar treatments hurt?

Some patients might experience discomfort during the treatment, particularly near the treatment site, or might have a mild headache afterward. These sensations typically diminish as the patient continues with treatment sessions.

Is NeuroStar the same as ECT (electroconvulsive therapy)?

No, NeuroStar and ECT are very different treatments. While both are used for depression, ECT uses electrical currents to induce controlled seizures, whereas NeuroStar uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific brain regions without inducing seizures.

Is NeuroStar covered by insurance?

Many insurance companies do cover NeuroStar treatments, but coverage can vary. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider to determine if and to what extent they cover the treatment.

Does NeuroStar provide financial assistance for patients?

Some patients might be eligible for financial assistance programs through NeuroStar or third-party organizations.

My NeuroStar doctor doesn’t accept my insurance. What are my options?

You can consider seeking another NeuroStar provider who accepts your insurance, or you might discuss out-of-network options with your insurance provider. Some patients also explore payment plans or third-party financing options.

Where can I find a NeuroStar doctor?

The NeuroStar website has a provider locator tool that can help you find certified NeuroStar practitioners in your area.

Is NeuroStar experimental?

No, NeuroStar is not experimental. It has been FDA-approved for the treatment of depression since 2008. It’s a well-researched treatment method with multiple clinical trials supporting its safety and efficacy.

TMS Self Assessment

Have you experienced a lack of enjoyment in your activities in the last 30 days?
How often have you felt depressed, down or hopeless in the last 30 days?
How often have you had difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep in the last 30 days?
How often have you tired or a lack of energy to do simple tasks at work or at home in the last 30 days?
How often have you had poor appetite or overate in the last 30 days?
How often have you had trouble concentrating or focusing in the last 30 days?

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