Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: What is it?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses a targeted magnetic field to stimulate areas of the brain that control mood and are thought to be underactive in people with depression.
Safe & Effective
TMS Therapy is FDA cleared to treat patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvements from antidepressant medications. Over 1 million treatments have been performed to over 25,000 patients.
Long Lasting Symptom Relief
In an open label study, 68% of the participants who were followed for a year still maintained the benefits of TMS Therapy.
TMS Therapy is a precise medication-free outpatient treatment easily conducted in a doctor’s office, and can be safely used with or without antidepressant medications.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is Non-invasive
TMS Therapy is a non-invasive procedure. You are awake and alert for the treatments, and can engage in normal activities immediately after treatment. There are no restrictions whatsoever following treatment.
No Medication Side Effects
TMS Therapy is free from the side effects often felt with medications.
- No weight gain
- No sexual dysfunction
- No fatigue
The most common side effect of TMS therapy is pain or discomfort around the treatment area, which usually goes away within a week.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is Covered by Most Insurance
TMS Therapy is covered to treat Major Depressive Disorder by most private insurers. Our staff are experts at navigating the required approval process, and we typically get approvals within one week for qualified candidates.
Watch your favorite TV show while receiving your treatment!
Theta Burst Stimulation
In the United States, the FDA-approved procedure for treating depression with TMS uses a protocol of repetitive, single-burst stimuli, called rTMS. This protocol, which was FDA approved for the treatment of depression in 2008, is safe, effective and well-tolerated. However, new, potentially better TMS protocols are on the horizon. In fact, in late 2018 TBS, aka Express TMS, was FDA approved for the treatment of depression.
Just like conventional rTMS, TBS uses magnetic energy to stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain and improve depressive symptoms. The difference lies in how the stimulation is delivered. The TBS protocol delivers stimuli in a unique pattern—three rapid bursts of pulses at 50 hz, repeated every 200 ms. Compared to the conventional rTMS, this protocol more continuously stimulates the brain. As a result, the treatment time is greatly reduced. Theta Burst Stimulation only takes 4 minutes, and research shows that it works equally well, if not better, than standard protocols that take upwards of 20 minutes.
How do we use TBS at Pacific Psychiatric Intervention & Wellness Centers (PPIWC)?
TBS treatments are used in several ways at PPIWC. It is used either as a stand alone treatment, or in conjunction with other treatments such as rTMS and ketamine therapy. When combined with rTMS or ketamine therapy, the likelihood of remission is dramatically improved. Because individual TBS treatments take such little time, we are able to offer this as a much more inexpensive alternative to rTMS for patients that aren’t able to use health insurance to cover the cost of the rTMS. Out of pocket costs for TBS treatments are less than $200 on average. Additionally, because TBS treatments take only a few minutes, we are able to schedule several treatments per day, which can shorten the overall length of treatment by several weeks, making it a much more convenient schedule than rTMS.