TMS Devices

Article Contents

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?

While looking at TMS devices, it is helpful to understand what TMS is. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an innovative therapy that targets the electromagnetic waves in the brain. In doing so, the nerve cells in the brain are activated via theta-burst stimulation (TBS) and connections within the nervous system. The most promising thing about transcranial magnetic stimulation is that it can be used for patients who do not respond to typical treatments, providing another means for the reduction of symptoms. The process of TMS therapy includes:1  

EEG Evaluation

During preliminary examinations, doctors will take an EEG evaluation, which measures the activity in the brain. In doing this procedure, doctors can note the differences before and after treatment to test its effectiveness. 

Magnetic Pulses

Using an electric coil on the forehead, brain stimulation is activated when the TMS device is connected, sending waves through the brain that will stimulate the nervous system.  

rTMS

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a therapy where waves are sent to specific parts of the brain repetitively. TMS for addiction is effective with deep rTMS, targeting the parts of the brain typically associated with addiction.  

Benefits of TMS Therapy

There are numerous benefits when it comes to TMS treatment and TMS for addiction. Now that TMS has been approved by the FDA, there are several TMS devices approved for brain scans that can be used to treat a few disorders and even dual diagnoses. Some benefits of TMS therapy include that the process is…2

Structural

Findings show that patients with structural issues within their brain have greatly improved with help from TMS devices.

Physiological

Especially with TMS for addiction, TMS treatments are highly effective for psychological disorders. That includes depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s.

Highly Successful

Among those who have undergone treatment, symptoms have been drastically reduced. This factor is also true in cases where other treatments have proven ineffective.

Non-Invasive

TMS treatment is non-invasive and does not hurt at all. As a matter of fact, many patients look forward to their time in the office, able to sit back, relax, and take a few minutes to themselves with each treatment.

No Side Effects

Perhaps one of the biggest pros that come with the use of TMS devices is the fact that patients have no side effects. Traditional neurostimulation treatments for depression, anxiety, and addiction involved medication that had a long list of side effects. However, TMS comes with zero side effects, which means no adjustment period.

Non-Drug

Because there is no pill involved, patients will not have to suffer while their body adjusts. All they will have to do is sit back and relax while the silent waves make their way through the brain. Patients will not feel a single thing and won’t have to wait long periods while their medication gets adjusted.

FDA Cleared

FDA approval for TMS occurred in 2020. This treatment’s success will likely see approval for many other disorders, as some studies have been going on for decades. FDA approval is not an easy thing to come across and companies have to prove that their products are not harmful and are effective.

Covered by Most Insurance

Anytime a new treatment comes out, it can cost a fortune to get it set up. However, that is not the case with TMS, as the treatment is covered by most insurance. It is a huge plus for patients suffering from depression and other disorders that won’t have to spend an arm and a leg.

Zero Downtime

Because the treatment is non-invasive, it comes with zero downtime. That means that patients can get treatment quickly and go on about their day without having to take time off to recover.

FDA Cleared TMS systems

As mentioned, there are several TMS devices approved for use by the FDA. Each TMS machine works the same but has a different look and may be more effective at treating different disorders. Below, we have a look at several different TMS devices and how they are typically used.

Apollo 

One of the most eye-catching TMS devices is the Apollo. It has a bright blue modern color and modern design that is meant to seat patients comfortably. There is full neck and head support and an easy-to-operate computer attached to it that makes it easy for both the technician and the patient. Many offices are turning to the Apollo TMS device, as it has a great warranty, it’s easy to use, and it looks super sharp.  

CloudTMS

One of the most lightweight TMS devices is the CloudTMS. It’s 100% portable and works with the help of a laptop computer. It’s been a tried and tested TMS for addiction and shown to be highly effective against the symptoms of depression. The CloudTMS is available in the US and across the globe, making a name for itself after several reports of successful treatments.   

Nexstim

Nexstim is among one of the most compact designs offered for TMS treatment. Said to help with depression, anxiety, and even brain surgery, this little device has proved effective and is moveable around the head to target certain areas. The part of the device that rests on the forehead is small, light, and does not create any pressure on the patient’s head, something that makes it very desirable.  

Magstim

Magstim is another brand that comes with a comfortable chair included, one that has neck and head support to keep patients comfortable. There is added cooling for a soothing effect. Additionally, the system has proved to be effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The chair is designed for patients to come in and sit back while they get their treatment. All parts of it are fully adjustable so that each patient can find their most comfortable setting.   

BrainsWay Deep

BrainsWay Deep is a non-invasive TMS device that’s proven effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is created with a design that sits on top of the patient’s head, delivering electromagnetic pulses. This device is extremely effective for those that have tried other treatments and failed, as this device is designed to penetrate deep.

NeuroStar

NeuroStar TMS is an express TMS Treatment that patients can come in and do at their convenience. Said to target the part of the nervous system responsible for depression and anxiety, this treatment is not only FDA approved but is also covered by most insurance plans.

MagVenture

Most TMS devices have an attached coil but, the MagVenture comes with a comfortable cap that fits right over the patient’s head. The company has been involved in lots of research, where they have been deemed both effective and safe.3   

What to Expect in TMS Therapy?

If your doctor recommends TMS therapy to help reduce your symptoms, you might be left wondering how it’s going to go. If you’re expecting your first treatment soon, here is what you can expect.4

How Long is This Therapy?

A typical TMS treatment lasts anywhere from twenty to forty minutes. The most effective form of treatment is to set up a course, which lasts about four to six weeks. In that time, patients are asked to have a treatment five days a week, analyzing the results after the course. 

How to Prepare for TMS?

To prepare, patients will have to undergo a few preliminary examinations including a physical exam and a psychiatric evaluation. After analysis of both, your doctor will decide the course that’s right for you and your symptoms.  

Who Administers TMS?

The TMS machine is operated by a certified technician. Your physician will also be in the room, supervising and making sure that everything runs smoothly. 

TMS vs rTMS

TMS scans are non-invasive and are used to send electromagnetic waves into the brain. One of the main uses for TMS devices is for those that suffer from symptoms of depression that have tried treatments that have not been effective. It is these waves that start to stimulate the brain and promote new healthy connections along the way. There are different kinds of treatments and courses, all of which depend on the individual’s needs.5

rTMS is essentially the same as TMS, it’s just the repetition of these pulses. rTMS works with the help of a coil that’s placed on the region of the brain that is to be treated. Normally, rTMS targets these nerves and sends repetitive pulses to that region during a session. When it comes to TMS scans, there are all kinds of ways that they can be administered, leaving it up to the doctor to decide what will be the most effective.

Who Cannot Receive TMS Therapy?

While TMS treatment has been tried, tested, and listed as safe, there are a few people that cannot or should not get the treatment. Those looking into TMS devices or TMS for addiction should reconsider if they have any of the following.

  • Metal implants or plates
  • Patients with a known risk of seizure  
  • Tattoo with magnetic-sensitive ink 
  • Stents in neck/ brain 
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Shrapnel or bullet fragments near the head 
  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/tms-therapy
  3. https://neupsykey.com/current-fda-cleared-tms-systems-and-future-innovations-in-tms-therapy/
  4. https://www.mytransformations.com/post/what-to-expect-during-tms-therapy
  5. https://www.brainsway.com/professionals-faqs/how-does-deep-tms-compare-to-standard-rtms/