Depression & TMS
For decades, researchers have sought safe and effective treatments for depression. However, there is no single depression treatment which has been proven to work for everyone. Depression is often treated with antidepressant medications; however, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have been shown to work in people who do not receive sufficient benefit from medications or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. One alternative therapy for the treatment of depression is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In 2008, NeuroStar TMS Therapy was FDA-cleared for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. It is sometimes referred to as rTMS which stands for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS patients receiving TMS Therapy remain awake and alert during the procedure.
TMS Therapy is an outpatient procedure. The treatment course typically consists of 5 treatments per week over a 4-6 week period for 20-30 treatments. Each depression treatment session lasts approximately 18-37 minutes, depending on what the doctor determines is the correct protocol. TMS Therapy is:
- Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.
- Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body.
- FDA cleared for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.
TMS+YOU is an online community and national patient advocacy site for TMS Therapy. Those considering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can connect with patients who have had the treatment to answer questions, share insights, and get the latest information.