Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-drug treatment option for individuals struggling with major depression. This therapy uses focused magnetic pulses (similar to an MRI) to reignite dormant synapses in the brain with the goal of helping the brain function in the way it is meant to.
How TMS works
Specific areas of the brain control an individuals’ mood. When these synapses in the mood-regulating areas are underactive, connections are broken and can result in depression. At Neurobehavioral Evaluation Treatment Services (NETS), we use a NeuroStar Advanced TMS machine to deliver treatment to each patient. This machine goes directly to the source of depression – the brain. NeuroStar revitalizes those dormant synapses and helps the awaken the brain to function as it was meant to.
TMS therapy is an outpatient treatment that takes less than 20 minutes per session. As with any therapy, completion is key. A full treatment course is considered 36 treatments. The first 30 treatments are delivered five days a week (Monday through Friday). The remaining six treatments will be tapered.
You may feel mild to moderate pain or discomfort at the treatment site during the procedure. This usually subsides within the first week of treatment. Other side effects include eye pain, toothache, muscle twitching, facial pain and skin pain.
Because TMS is not a drug, shock therapy or surgical procedure. TMS doesn’t have side effects. There is no sedation or recovery time so you may drive immediately after receiving TMS treatment. You are free to go about your normal daily life.
There is a rare risk of seizures associated with TMS therapy. This occurs in <0.1% of people receiving treatment.
TMS should not be used with patients who have non-removable conductive metal in or near the head.
Your physician will continue to manage your medication while receiving treatment.
Information for providers
Patients should be referred for consultation by their psychiatrist. Please contact the NETS Department Nurse Navigator, 714-744-8879, for information on patient referrals.