Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is TMS?

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive therapeutic treatment for many different psychiatric and neurological illnesses by using electromagnetic currents targeted to certain parts of the brain. FDA has approved TMS for treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is also used off-label for the treatment of multiple different illnesses including Bipolar Disorder, chronic pain, Autism, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and smoking cessation.

How does deep TMS work?

We use deep TMS technology in our clinic. The therapy is not painful or disruptive, does not cause systemic side effects**, and does not require hospitalization or anesthesia.

Treatment involves sitting comfortably in a chair and wearing a helmet containing a patented H-coil for 20-minutes. The coil stimulates the brain by creating a temporary magnetic field.

Deep TMS has been tested in over 60 clinical trials worldwide. It can even help people who have not responded well to medications, or to a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

Who is Eligible for TMS treatment?

It is indicated for adult patients who did not achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication and/or therapy.  Patients who have not seen improvement in their MDD symptoms or OCD using other forms of treatment may finally find relief with  Deep TMS treatment.

What are the benefits of TMS?

It is a comfortable, non-invasive treatment option that does not require anesthesia or hospitalization. It carries no systemic side effects**. Since it’s non-systemic, it doesn’t have side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, sedation, dry mouth, etc**.

Does it hurt?

There may be mild discomforts for some patients (such as scalp pain, headache, or toothache) which declines after the first week of the treatment. For some patients, there are mild discomforts, such as headache, toothache, or scalp irritation, which diminishes after the treatment**.  The most common adverse event related to treatment was scalp pain or discomfort at the treatment area during active treatments, which was transient and mild to moderate in severity. The incidence of this side effect declined markedly after the first week of treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Compared to other treatments for depression, deepTMS is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects reported by patients are mild discomfort at the treatment site and the possible development of a slight headache during the first week of treatment. The most serious risk of deepTMS is seizure. However, the risk of a seizure is exceptionally low and a thorough check on a client’s medical history is conducted to rule-out this risk.

Does TMS cause brain tumors?

No, TMS Therapy uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs, which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause tumors. The amount of magnetic field exposure for a full course of TMS Therapy is a small fraction of just one brain scan with an MRI.

What are the long-term consequences of TMS treatment?

TMS is an acute therapy. With regard to long-term safety, TMS uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs, which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause long-term consequences. The amount of magnetic field exposure for a full course of TMS Therapy is only a small fraction of one brain scan with an MRI. If a patient has multiple courses of acute TMS, the magnetic field exposure would be less than exposure from a few MRI sessions.

Is it safe?

TMS therapy is an FDA-approved treatment for depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,  and it  has been known to be used in the treatment of many other neurological conditions. The treatment is always performed by a trained TMS technician and under the supervision of the prescribing psychiatrist.

How long does treatment take?

For optimal results treatment sessions last for  20 minutes and are prescribed five days a week for 4-6 weeks for a total of 36 treatments; including the initial mapping appointment.

Does insurance cover TMS treatment?

Most insurance companies cover TMS treatments. There are criteria that must be met to meet the threshold for insurance coverage, and our staff is happy to check your insurance eligibility for you. Our staff handles all insurance authorizations for you -you are strictly here for your well-being.

Is TMS better than antidepressants?

Antidepressants have been found to be effective in symptom relief in only about 50% of patients diagnosed with depression. Because these drugs are systemic—ingested and processed in the body—there are several unpleasant side effects that may accompany these medications, including weight gain, insomnia, irritability, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and headache. TMS directly treats the region in the brain associated with mood control, making it an efficient and safe treatment option.

Deep TMS Therapy has been cleared by U.S. FDA for the treatment of patients with depression who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant treatment.

DeepTMS is non-systemic, so it doesn’t have side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc**.

Finally, it’s also important to consider safety and tolerability. TMS is non-systemic, so it doesn’t cause side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc.

Will TMS affect my current medications?

Patients may continue to take their prescribed antidepressants during TMS treatment, unless their side effects from the drugs are inhibitive. After the TMS treatment regimen is complete, patients can meet with their physician to decide whether or not to continue taking medication.

Who benefits most from TMS?

TMS is most beneficial for those individuals who have tried antidepressant medications but were unsuccessful in achieving relief from depression symptoms. TMS also benefits those who experienced unpleasant side effects from those medications.

Am I a good candidate for TMS?

You are a good candidate, if you suffer from Major Depressive Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, have not received relief from anti-depressant medications, unable to tolerate anti-depressants or the side-effects caused by them. Consumers who are active recreational drug use, have seizure disorder or head injury are not recommended to receive deep TMS treatment.

What should I expect my first visit?

Our office currently offers a consultation from one of our board-certified psychiatrists as a way for those who are interested to come in, view the machine, and become acquainted with the treatment process. The appointment is about 1 hour. You will meet with one of our psychiatrists for TMS assessment. During the visit, you can ask questions, discuss any concerns you may have. You are also given some additional information regarding the treatment such as articles, brochures, etc.

What do I do once my TMS treatment is completed?

After you complete the first 30 TMS sessions, the last six sessions are tapered out usually through a two-week period. If you need, our office offers additional maintenance sessions following the final day of treatment at a discounted rate for those who have completed their full course of treatment with us.

Is TMS used to treat anything besides depression and OCD?

TMS is only approved for treatment of depression and OCD in the US. However, in Europe, TMS has been CE approved to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, adult autism, chronic pain, smoking cessation, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Is TMS better than Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?

Both ECT and TMS have been successful in treating depression. However, ECT requires sedation, and the electroshocks can cause memory loss and confusion, whereas TMS uses no sedation and safe, noninvasive magnetic pulses.

TMS is NOT shock therapy and uses strictly magnetic pulses NOT ELECTRICITY. Anesthesia is not required- the patient is awake and alert the entire time and is able to drive themselves to and from treatment. TMS does not prove to cause any of the undesirable side-effects as ECT such as memory loss, dizziness, insomnia, gastric issues, etc**.

What are the contraindications of TMS treatment?

Deep TMS Therapy is contraindicated (should not be used) in patients with implanted metallic devices or non-removable metallic objects in or around the head. People who have history of head injury or seizure disorder should avoid TMS treatment.

What is the history of TMS treatment?

First used in 1985, TMS has been used by researchers around the world to help understand the function of different parts of the brain. Several hundred manuscripts have been published regarding its use in stimulating select regions of the brain. Since the mid 1990s TMS has been studied as an antidepressant therapy. Click here for detailed history of TMS.

What evidence exists for Deep TMS effectiveness?

A growing body of research has cited high Deep TMS therapy success rates, finding that BrainsWay’s Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) can alleviate symptoms of a number of mental health conditions. Such studies rely on meticulous, evidence-based analysis whose results have been published in prestigious medical journals. Deep TMS was found to have a high efficiency within real-life clinical settings, i.e. among patients receiving treatment in the field. Of recorded data for over 1000 participants undergoing a course of dTMS treatment for MDD, some 75% of participants achieved a clinical response, with one out of two achieving remission***.