TMS Therapy, also known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a revolutionary method for overcoming treatment-resistant depression and other mental health issues, including addiction.
While many outpatient treatment centers offer this technology, Iris Healing is unique in that we use the most advanced Magstim TMS Performance Plus Treatment Machine, that offers full theta wave burst capability and is guided by a fully computerized StimGuide Navigation System.
Iris Healing is the only facility in Los Angeles that utilizes the Magstim Stim Guide and it is only offered by a small number of facilities around the country.
StimGuide® has received an FDA 510K clearance and is a unique navigation system used with Magstim’s Horizon® Performance TMS Therapy System. This is a major benefit that offers precise and consistent coil positioning for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder.
This remarkable 3D Navigation system aligns four distinct parameters to guide clinicians to a precise target area for treatment, to reduce any potential variability in treatment and improve consistency of the TMS Therapy.
Most commercial insurance plans and MediCare usually cover this procedure for qualified clients.
Living with depression can take a heavy toll on a person’s everyday life. Left untreated, depression puts a person at risk of severe – and even life-threatening – health complications.
The good news is depression is a treatable condition through options such as exercise, diet, medication, and therapy.
But for some people, first-line approaches such as psychotherapy or antidepressant medications don’t provide the relief they need. If you’re burdened by the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and standard treatments have been inadequate, or the side effects are too much to handle, then you should consider TMS therapy.
What is TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an FDA-approved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). It features magnetic fields that are administered in a series of short, repetitive, and highly focused pulses to stimulate parts of the brain that are associated with depression.
It’s very similar to having an MRI scan because both medical procedures use similar electromagnetic fields. To help you better understand what is TMS therapy, here are some of its characteristics:
TMS Therapy is Non-Invasive
Because TMS Therapy is non-invasive technique, nothing is put into your body such as an intravenous line and it doesn’t require surgery of any kind.
No Anesthesia is Required
A TMS treatment session does not use sedation or anesthesia and the patient is fully awake and conscious during the entire procedure.
TMS is Non-Systemic
Non-Systemic means that TMS therapy is only designed to target specific parts of the body and it does not travel through the bloodstream to other cells.
TMS Treatment is an Outpatient Procedure
Because it is an outpatient procedure, patients simply walk into a treatment session and walk out after it is finished. Due to the little-to-no side effects, patients can return to their daily lives immediately after the treatment.
How Does TMS Therapy Work?
For people suffereing from depression, the electrical activity in certain areas of the brain is shown to be reduced.
TMS therapy uses a focused electromagnetic coil to pulse a magnetic field to the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that regulates mood). This induces electrical currents in the target area, stimulating nerve cells to release neurotransmitters, and consequently improve brain activity.
Simply put, it’s a gentle way to kickstart activity in parts of the brain that are associated with depression.
What Can be Expected During a TMS Treatment Procedure?
While seated in a dental-style chair during a typical treatment session awake and alert, a TMS-trained medical professional places a small electromagnetic coil over the head directly above the part of the brain that is thought to be dysfunctional. This will often be above the left eye.
With the help of a computer program, electromagnetic pulses are applied repetitively in spurts for the 3-minute, 19-minute, and the 37.5-minute protocols.
After the session, most people return to their normal daily activities. Although many people might not feel a significant difference after the first session, most outcomes show a noticeable improvement by the end of the 30-session treatment schedule approved by the FDA.
Guided by the recently FDA-approved StimGuide for Magstim’s “Horizon Performance” TMS Therapy System, it’s now possible for clinicians to precisely target brain areas for consistent treatment outcomes as described later on this page.
What is TMS Used For?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy aims to provide relief to over 17.3 million American adults suffering from major depression, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health.
The treatment is typically prescribed for patients who portray treatment-resistant depression (TRD). According to an article published in Biological Psychiatryby Maurizio Fava from the Harvard Medical School, up to 60% of patients show inadequate responses to their first antidepressant medication therapy.
Doing the math, this equates to roughly 10 million Americans who do not respond adequately in their first tries. When this is the case, TMS is one of the safest and most effective treatments to help patients feel better.
Although the procedure is only approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in the U.S., it’s used in other countries for common conditions such as addiction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, among others.
Moreover, transcranial magnetic stimulation is being studied extensively in clinical trials looking at its effectiveness across different mental health disorders. While the research avenues are promising, TMS is only approved for major depressive disorder in the U.S.
Is TMS Therapy Effective?
As is the case with any unconventional or alternative treatment, there are always queries regarding the efficacy.
Questions such as, “What is TMS Therapy,” are often followed by, “Does TMS Treatment Work?” In the case of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, the effectiveness of the procedure is even more important considering it’s used when all other options fail. So, does TMS therapy do the job where first-line treatments failed?
Since pioneers such as Magstim introduced the modern Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation technology back in the 80s, the technology has undergone rapid development – hinged on an extensive body of research.
According to several scientific studies, TMS therapy is an effective treatment for major depressive disorder, especially for patients with treatment-resistant depression.
Here are several studies from credible sources on the efficacy of TMS Therapy
- According to a 2019 study published in BMC Psychiatry, the use of TMS is clinically efficacious. The researchers came to this conclusion following a review of several high-quality scientific articles.
- In a peer-reviewed study by researchers affiliated to the Brown University School of Medicine, Linda Carpenter, MD, and colleagues sought to study the efficacy of TMS therapy in the real world. They investigated 42 TMS clinics around the U.S. and discovered that 37% achieved full remission, while another 58% showed improved outcomes.
- A 2014 study appearing in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatrysuggests that TMS therapy is well-tolerated, safe, and efficacious when used to augment antidepressants. According to the findings, 70.6% of the patients responded to the TMS treatment and 41.2% achieved remission.
Sure, these studies don’t tell the whole story, nor are they conclusive—but they provide a pretty good idea on the effectiveness of TMS therapy. Coupled with tons of anecdotal evidence from previous patients at Iris Healing and other TMS treatment facilities, the procedure is worth considering.
It’s also worth noting that TMS has a few benefits over other forms of depression treatments such as:
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Although TMS therapy is sometimes compared to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), the two are very different. ECT is characterized by hard-to-tolerate side effects such as loss of cognition and memory. The treatment also requires hospitalization and the use of anesthesia.
On the other hand, clinical studies show that TMS is well-tolerated and safe with a few side effects such as mild headaches and moderate scalp discomfort—which go away quickly. Please note that patients who are undergoing ECT treatment are strongly advised to consult a qualified medical professional before considering TMS therapy.
According to research, long term use of some antidepressants may lead to systemic side effects such as sleep disturbance, weight gain, sexual disturbance, low blood sugar, and nausea—not to mention the withdrawal symptoms.
In contrast, TMS is non-systemic and it’s associated with a few short-term, mild side effects.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for TMS Treatment?
Is transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy the best option for your condition? The answer to this question ultimately lies with your treatment team and your personal decision.
To give a general idea of what constitutes an ideal candidate for TMS therapy, consider the following questions:
- Are you diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD)?
- Is there any noticeable remission of your symptoms after using first-line depression treatments such as antidepressants?
- Are your antidepressant medications intolerable?
- Do the side effects of your current treatment outweigh the benefits?
- Are the depressive symptoms taking a heavy toll on your everyday life even after standard treatment?
- Are you on several antidepressant medications?
If the answer is “yes” to the above questions and you’re 18 years or older, then it’s advisable to explore TMS therapy as a possible treatment option.
Many of our clients at Iris Healing who have had poor results with conventional antidepressant medication treatments have had much success with TMS Therapy.
Although TMS treatment has been proven to be safe and well-tolerated, it’s not recommended for certain high-risk patients. Factors that may preclude a patient from the treatment include:
- Brain damage from injury or illness. This includes stroke, traumatic brain injury, and brain tumors
- Existence of metal objects in the neck or brain such as pacemakers, bullet fragments, eye or ear implants, deep brain stimulators, stents, and aneurism clips
- A history of mental healths disorders such as psychosis and substance misuse
What Makes TMS Treatment at Iris Healing Different from All the Others?
At Iris Healing, we strive to merge spirituality, empathy, and science to achieve the most optimal treatment outcomes. Our focus is on long-lasting recovery – in which everyone enjoys a fulfilled life.
For this reason, we offer the most effective and groundbreaking technological solutions for the treatment of mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder.
According to Benjamin Franklin, “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.” In line with the wise words of one of America’s Founding Fathers and our mission for holistic recovery, Iris Healing has invested in giving our patients access to the best “tools” in TMS therapy
Our treatment facility uses Magstim’s “Horizon Performance” TMS Therapy Machine. This cost-effective solution for depression offers fast patient throughput with relatively high remission, andlow relpase rates.
For a quick recap, Magstim is the brains behind TMS technology—and the company continues to be a pacesetter in the industry.
Magstim leveraged over 3 decades of experience in the industry to provide a versatile, all-in-one TMS solution—dubbed the Horizon® Performance TMS therapy system. But what makes this the best equipment in the industry?
Magstim recently (2019) received a 510K clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its StimGuide Navigation System. Combined with the Horizon Performance TMS Therapy System, StimGuide facilitates fully computerized and accurate positioning for optimal patient outcomes.
It offers 3D navigation, minus the complexity and expenses of other navigation technologies. This is all possible by aligning four distinct parameters to more accurately target a specific area of the brain.
Lothar Krinke, Magstim Group CEO said in a statement, “I am convinced that StimGuide will improve patient care because it ensures reliable placement over the intended treatment target providing confidence to experienced and new TMS treaters. StimGuide accurately measures the distance of the coil from the intended target as well as rotation and pitch ensuring every pulse train is delivered in the optimal coil position.”
While the StimGuide is a game-changing development, there’s more to Magstim’s Horizon Performance System that makes it the best TMS machine in the industry.
It also features a Proprietary Energy Recovery System that ensures consistent electromagnetic pulse stimulation throughout the treatment. The TMS treatment system also received 510K FDA-approval for the iTBS theta-burst 3-minute protocol in 2019.
According to Dr Andrew Leuchter, Professor of Psychiatry from the Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, “It is exciting to see continued product development and innovation in TMS technology. Magstim’s Horizon Performance system has a number of features that have great potential to benefit patients. The flexibility of this new device to deliver stimulation at a wide range of frequencies and intensities make it a very attractive system for clinicians as well as researchers.”
As the field of TMS therapy continues to evolve and grow in the treatment of major depression, so does the need for top-of-the-range quality control tools to minimize the variability of treatment outcomes among treatment sessions and technicians.
With this in mind, it’s important to choose TMS treatment facilities that go above and beyond to offer the best treatment protocols and technological tools. If you look around, you’ll see that Iris Healing offers the best TMS Therapy system available today.
Frequently Asked TMS Therapy Questions
Do Major Insurance Providers Cover TMS Treatment?
Most Medicare and commercial insurance plans recognize the effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of major depression. As such, most of the major insurance providers offer plans to cover TMS. But to be on the safer side, complete our Online Insurance Verification form or call (844) 663-4747 for a free verification by our team at Iris Healing.
Can I take Antidepressants while on Magstim’s “Horizon Performance” TMS Therapy?
Yes, you can. Some clinical trials even suggest that TMS treatment may help augment the efficacy of antidepressant medications.
How Long do the Antidepressant Effects of TMS Therapy Last?
The human brain is a complex organ and several factors determine the length of TMS Treatment effects. But for most patients, the positive effects may persist for more than 12 months.
Is TMS Therapy Uncomfortable?
Not necessarily. Some people may experience mild scalp discomfort following the treatment, but the occurrence reduces after each session. Plus, the procedure is more tolerable and comfortable with the help of the versatile E-z Cool Coil in Magstim’s “Horizon Performance” TMS Therapy System—which has a longer pulse width.
To find out more about how TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) can help you overcome your symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, call Iris Healing toll free at (844) 663-4747.