The Benefits of TMS Therapy Treating Depression


Depression affects individuals of all ages, genders and walks of life. More than 16 million Americans struggle with major depressive disorder. Depression can severely disrupt both your personal and professional life and even lead to isolation and self-harm. While treating depression generally moves slowly, beginning with trial-and-error processes and medications, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is changing the outlook for a fast and successful resource to manage depression.

TMS therapy is an FDA-approved treatment that uses short magnetic pulses on nerve cells within the brain. While this might sound like other familiar electromagnetic therapies, it is much safer and much more effective. If you require treatment for your depression, consider TMS as your primary therapy. Let’s dive deeper into what TMS therapy is and the benefits of using it to treat depression.

How does TMS work in treating depression?

Your brain is a complex organ divided into different regions responsible for different functions. While you might have heard that people only use 10%of their brains, the truth is far more complex. Recent neuroscience research suggests that you use the entirety of your brain over a given day, yet each region attributes to a particular set of functions.

When focusing on the brain to treat depression, TMS machines focus on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The portion of the cortex connects to inhibition, planning, organization and cognitive flexibility. TMS sends magnetic waves through your scalp and skull and into parts of your brain that relate to the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus through connections in the DLPFC. TMS aims to disrupt brain signals that regulate your mood. The effect is a significant decrease in depressive symptoms. Sessions typically last 20-40 minutes and most commonly, you will attend five sessions per week for six weeks.

A primary benefit of using TMS therapy is its high success rate; therefore, the treatment works.

By comparison, traditional medication for depression has a relatively low success rate, especially if the first two attempts to use medication don’t provide relief. While the exact success rates vary, it is generally between only 60-70% of patients that respond to medication. Perhaps the most crucial part is that TMS can work best if you have tried medication and the medication has not worked.

Most patients who completed TMS sessions have been able to relieve significant symptoms at least partially. It is encouraging to know that the success rate comes without drugs and other medications; therefore, you will not need to rely on using medication indefinitely to manage your depression. Up to 90% of patients experience the benefits for at least 12 months after the TMS course.

TMS is a non-invasive, targeted treatment that is statistically safer than other forms of magnetic stimulation treatment and medications.

While TMS is not free of any side effects, they are minimal and manageable. Certain side effects may include headaches, lightheadedness and scalp discomfort during stimulation. The effects are short-lived and there have been no long-term side effects reported after having done TMS. Further, your body will adjust to the procedure upon each subsequent visit. At DiscoveryMD, we have qualified staff and health professionals to give you individualized care to make the procedure as easy and safe as possible.

TMS is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require that you be placed under any anesthesia or become bedridden.

Your practitioner will place coils on specific parts of your head and you may feel a tapping sensation. Once your session ends, you can resume your normal activities throughout the rest of your day. Therefore, you do not need someone to drive you to and from treatment. You also do not need to take any extra time off from work to recover. You can get back to working or taking care of your household obligations immediately following treatment.

Since TMS uses magnetic waves, there are certain restrictions and precautions to consider.

You will want to speak with a healthcare professional regarding TMS as certain medical devices, dental implants and other procedures may interfere with the TMS device. Devices include cochlear implants, pacemakers, insulin pumps and any metal implant in the cranial cavity or eye socket. Further, piercings and jewelry could also interfere.

Speaking with a healthcare professional will help prepare you and help you discuss any concerns you might have. Therefore, when considering various treatments for depression, it is essential to ask as many questions as possible to help you make the decision you will feel most comfortable making. If you are considering TMS, remember that it is:

  • Non-systemic
  • Non-sedating
  • Non-invasive
  • FDA approved
  • Covered by most insurances

Finding the best treatment for your depression can be an intimidating process. However, today you have more options for treatment with the advancement in technologies used to conduct TMS sessions. At DiscoveryMD, we will work with you to provide the best diagnosis and treatment for your depression. If you are currently struggling to manage your depression, then the time to seek help is now. To find out more contact us today.

Call for a Confidential Consultation(888) 526-3066
Call Now Button