Depression is a treatable condition, but sometimes standard treatments are not enough. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. These magnetic pulses, similar to the strength of an MRI machine, may have a positive effect on neurotransmitter levels, making long-term remission possible.
TMS MECHANISM OF ACTION
Since the 1980s, transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used to study nerve fibers that carry information about movements from the brain to the spinal cord and on to the muscles.
In the late 1990s, physicians began to explore the potential of TMS for the treatment of depression. Since then, more than 100 randomized, controlled trials studying transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression have been conducted by investigators throughout the world.
NeuroStar TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy was FDA-cleared in October 2008 for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications. Using pulsed magnetic fields, TMS therapy stimulates the part of the brain thought to be involved with mood regulation.
TMS Therapy is a short outpatient procedure, performed in your psychiatrist’s office under his or her supervision while you remain awake and alert. The typical initial course of treatment is typically less than 20 minutes.