If you have depression but have had no progress with talk therapy, your medication is not working or the side effects are intolerable; you may have what is known as treatment resistant depression.
Two proven alternatives are available, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Both are effective in the treatment of depression, but there are numerous differences in safety and treatment tolerance.
Approximately 58% of patients with treatment resistant MDD respond positively to TMS therapy.
Living with depression is hard, but Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) can be especially painful when one treatment after another doesn’t help. You lose hope. Will you ever feel better?
Finding the right treatment can take time but TMS may be the treatment that will make you feel like you again.
WHAT IS TMS?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a series of repetitive, brief and highly focused magnetic pulses, designed to stimulate brain cells.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
In depressed patients, the electrical activity in certain areas of the brain is shown to be reduced.
Using TMS targeted at these areas, we aim to re-awaken these cells, increasing brain activity to normal levels.
TMS uses a focused electromagnet to rapidly pulse a magnetic field to the targeted area. The magnetic pulses induce an electrical current in the brain, stimulating the cells into activity.
- Safe and effective
- Minimal side effects
- No anesthesia
- Outpatient treatment
- Covered by most insurance providers *including Medicare
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TMS AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS?
TMS is typically prescribed when antidepressants have failed, or the side effects are intolerable.
Antidepressants are systemic, which means that the medication is absorbed into the blood stream. This can cause numerous side effects. TMS is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure with no systemic side effects.
IS TMS LIKE ECT?
TMS and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) are both effective in the treatment of depression, but ECT is associated with more side effects and is significantly more intense.
ECT is performed in a hospital and you must be anesthetized and restrained during the procedure. ECT works by applying a brief electrical pulse to the brain that medically induces a seizure.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
TMS is a safe and well tolerated treatment with very few side effects. Clinical studies show that the most common side effects are mild to moderate scalp discomfort and mild headaches, both of which are short term.
IS TMS AN OPTION FOR ME?
In the US, TMS therapy is appropriate for adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.
This means that if you have been diagnosed with MDD and medications are not working, or the side effects are intolerable, you should ask your doctor about TMS.
WHAT MIGHT I EXPECT DURING MY TMS TREATMENT?
TMS is performed in a doctor’s office or clinic. Treatment sessions last less than 45 minutes and are typically performed 5 days per week, over a six-week period.
You will be seated in a comfortable chair, some measurements may be taken and you may be provided with earplugs.
Your doctor will position the magnetic coil on your head and treatment will begin. You may feel a moderate tapping on your head under the treatment coil and you will remain awake and alert throughout treatment.
Following your session, you will be able to drive home and you can resume normal activities for the rest of the day.