Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an emerging treatment for patients with depression. There has been an increase in the number of hospitals and clinics offering this non-invasive procedure over the past few years. If you have been diagnosed with depression, you may be wondering whether TMS can help you. This blog post will answer some common questions about TMS and its effectiveness as a treatment for depression.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive form of magnetic brain stimulation that uses a device called a “coil” to create electrical impulses in the brain. TMS is a type of electrotherapy that sends short pulses of electricity through a person’s scalp and into their brain. The electrical impulses are said to boost the activity of chemicals in the brain that affect mood, thinking and behavior. TMS uses electromagnets to stimulate nerve fibers in the brain. Researchers think it might work by increasing the release of certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, which can affect mood. TMS is administered daily over an average of 12 weeks, with each session lasting about 30 minutes.
There is a wide range of research on the use of TMS for the treatment of depression. Some studies show that TMS is as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. Other studies find that TMS is no better than a placebo (sham treatment). TMS is most often used to treat people who have not responded to other treatments. It may be considered as an alternative to antidepressants, and/or it may be used in combination with antidepressants. TMS is not recommended when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. You shouldn’t use TMS if you have a seizure disorder, an implanted medical device or a broken bone in your skull. You shouldn’t use TMS if you’re severely depressed, have had a recent stroke, have recently had brain surgery, or are using drugs or alcohol excessively.
TMS has been studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions other than depression, including anxiety, eating disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Most studies, however, were small and the results were mixed. For example, while some studies found TMS helpful for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), other studies found that TMS was no better than a placebo. TMS has also been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia, and researchers found that patients who receive TMS as an added treatment showed improvement in symptoms. Still, more research is needed to understand how and why TMS works for these conditions.
Some studies suggest that TMS is as effective as antidepressants for treating depression. Other studies found that TMS is no better than a placebo (sham treatment). TMS is not a first-line treatment for depression. That means it is usually recommended for people who have not responded to antidepressants or other treatments. That said, for people who have tried multiple antidepressants without success, TMS is worth trying. For some people, TMS may work as well as or better than other treatments.
The cost of a TMS treatment varies by clinic and insurance coverage may vary. The average cost of a TMS treatment is $16,370 per person, with a range of $15,000 to $22,000. Most insurance companies cover the cost of TMS, but patients should check with their insurance companies to be sure. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, you may want to ask your doctor to estimate the cost of TMS based on your treatment plan.
TMS has been studied extensively in people, including children and pregnant women. There are no known risks of TMS during pregnancy or breastfeeding. One of the risks of TMS is that it may not work for everyone. If TMS does not work for you, your doctor may suggest another treatment option. Some patients experience side effects that are typically mild and go away after the first few sessions. These side effects include headache, scalp pain and other discomfort.
If you have been diagnosed with depression, TMS may be worth trying. It can take several weeks to months to see if a treatment is working. If antidepressants are not working for you, then you may want to consider trying TMS. If you are considering trying TMS for depression, make sure that you find a reputable clinic. It is important to find a clinic that specializes in TMS and can provide you with a high-quality treatment. Because TMS is not considered a first-line treatment for depression, it is important to be patient and work with your counselor to find the treatment that works best for you.