What is TMS and Are You a Candidate?
If you’ve been looking for alternative treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, then you may have come across TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation.
What is TMS?
TMS therapy is a noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic energy pulses, targeting specific areas of the brain. These targeted areas are the ones involved in mood control or regulation.
The magnetic pulses pass through the skull painlessly. When the pulses get through the skull, they can stimulate brain cells, which are believed to also help improve their communication with other areas or parts of the brain.
Studies have shown that TMS can be an effective non-invasive (it doesn’t require anesthesia), non-pharmacologic (no drugs or medications are involved) treatment option for major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and other mental health problems.
What conditions can benefit from TMS?
In the United States, TMS has been approved as an alternative treatment for major depressive disorder. However, in many European countries, TMS is used for several other conditions, including anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, and nicotine addiction.
What can you expect during a TMS therapy session?
During your TMS therapy, a magnetic coil will be placed on your head. As it is magnetic, you will be advised to remove any magnet-sensitive objects such as your jewelry.
Your initial TMS session will be different from the subsequent ones as the physician or technician will determine your motor threshold. This will be the basis for your subsequent treatments.
During treatment, the magnet will continue to send pulses throughout your brain. Aside from the clicking noise, you’ll feel mild taps on your head where the coil is positioned.
The treatment can last for 20 to 50 minutes. As no sedative will be administered, you can drive home after treatment and resume your usual activities.
Who are the ideal candidates for TMS therapy?
The ideal candidates of TMS therapy are those with major depressive disorder and have:
- Unpleasant experience with their antidepressants (some antidepressants cause weight gain and sexual dysfunction)
- Tried various rounds of different medications and psychotherapy but symptoms are still not improving
- Plans of getting pregnant so may have to look for non-pharmacological treatment for depression
If you classify yourself in one of these situations, then you may benefit from TMS therapy.
NeurOasis specializes in TMS therapy. If you want to find out more about TMS, you may schedule a no-obligation appointment with us by calling (520) 338-2557.