Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
TMS is the most exciting breakthrough in treatment for depression and anxiety in the last 20 years. For too long, patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression had limited options. TMS has changed all that. Now, patients with major depressive disorder, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and other mental health issues have an excellent treatment option available. So what is TMS?
TMS: Interventional Depression Treatment
Put simply, TMS is interventional psychiatry: the application of advanced technology within psychiatry. TMS treats the brain itself in order to achieve its remarkable results. Rather than moderating a chemical imbalance in the brain (as with antidepressants), TMS acts on neural pathways to restore healthy brain function. One of the key benefits of this approach is that it continues working long after treatment has ended.
TMS Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
About one-third of patients never achieve adequate relief from depression or anxiety with antidepressants (Source). Even with multiple different antidepressant attempts, patients still suffer from unresolved symptoms. Sometimes antidepressants simply don’t work for that patient, or they have serious side effects that make them unpalatable.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved treatment that can help patients whose depression and anxiety have not responded well to other treatments. In one clinical study, patients who had been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression were treated with TMS. Patients in the clinical trial achieved a 81 percent response rate (the patient’s severity of depression decreased by at least 50 percent) and a 37 percent remission rate (patient no longer clinically diagnosed as depressed).
Because it is non-pharmaceutical, TMS is a great option for patients looking for a non-pharmacological depression treatment. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, patients who are burned out on taking medicine, and patients who simply don’t want to rely on medication are all great candidates for TMS.
How TMS Works
TMS therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic pulses—similar to an MRI machine—to stimulate regions of the brain responsible for regulating mood. An electromagnetic coil is placed over your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates the nerve cells in the brain region that controls mood and depression. The magnetic pulses create a stimulus/response mechanism in the brain which prompts the brain to develop new, healthy neural behavior.
Like working out at the gym, these brain adaptations require some time to materialize. A typical TMS treatment plan consists of a daily half-hour TMS treatment, five days per week over 6-7 weeks. Treatments can easily be fit around a work schedule and patients are fully able to drive, operate machinery, and return to work immediately after each treatment session.
One of the greatest advantages of TMS treatment is how well it is tolerated by patients. Unlike antidepressants, TMS has no systemic side effects, making it especially attractive for patients who have experienced unpleasant side effects from antidepressant treatment. Some TMS patients report mild scalp discomfort or mild headaches, both of which tend to lessen as the patient becomes accustomed to the treatment.
How Quickly Does TMS Work?
A standard TMS treatment consists of 36 treatment sessions, delivered once per day, 5 days per week. Most patients begin to notice substantial improvement around the fourth week of treatment. Interestingly, often family and friends of the patient notice a change earlier, usually around the third week of treatment.
Conditions Treated by TMS
In the US, TMS is currently approved by the FDA for major depressive disorder, anxious depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and smoking cessation. TMS has also shown fantastic results in treating patients with PTSD, anxiety, bipolar depression, panic disorder, and other mental health conditions. Meeting with a psychiatrist at Ampelis Health is the best way to determine if TMS may be an appropriate treatment for you.
TMS Treatment Options in Utah
If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, treatment-resistant depression, OCD, or PTSD, we invite you to schedule an appointment today. We will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for TMS therapy. New patient appointments are available at our Utah County or South Ogden offices. To schedule an appointment, fill out our patient request form or call Ampelis Health at 435-776-5909.
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Ampelis Health Patients Share Their TMS Experience
“I just wanted to be happy … I am so glad I made that appointment”
"I give Ampelis Health 10 stars! I had a very positive experience with TMS. Thank you to the wonderful people at Ampelis Health!"
"I truly had the best experience doing TMS with Ampelis Health. I would recommend it to everyone"
"I have had a very positive experience with TMS treatment for anxiety. I leave my treatment appointments feeling refreshed, calm, and rejuvenated"
"I've made some really good progress since starting TMS. I would highly recommend Ampelis to anyone struggling with anxiety and depression"
"Since starting TMS treatments at Ampelis, I have experienced a drastic reduction in my symptoms. . . My depression has improved tremendously"
“When I started, I was so depressed I could hardly function. I feel like a whole new person. TMS gave me a new life.”