Do your research.
Not all TMS services are the same.
Not all psychiatrists are the same.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is the first non-systemic and non-invasive outpatient depression treatment cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy uses highly focused, pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate function in targeted brain regions.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is:
Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.
Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body.
What to expect:
A NeuroStar® TMS Therapy treatment session is a short outpatient procedure that usually lasts less than 20 minutes.
During treatment, you can relax in the treatment chair or speak with our TMS Specialists whenever necessary.
After the procedure, you can immediately return to your normal routine, including driving.
Your first treatment session:
Because your TMS-certified physician needs to determine your treatment location, your first session could last up to an hour and a half.
Your TMS physician will first perform a test to identify your motor threshold. The motor threshold is the amount of magnetic field strength that results in a movement of your right thumb. This test is important because it identifies the magnetic field strength that will be used in your treatment. This field strength is customized for each patient to deliver the correct treatment dose.
After this initial procedure, the TMS physician will determine the place on the head where the TMS treatment will be applied. This will allow you to receive optimal treatment.
The TMS Specialist will then administer TMS Therapy over an approximate 20 minute period. In 10-second intervals, the device will deliver rapid "pulses" of the magnetic fields. These will feel like tapping on your scalp. Some patients may find this tapping uncomfortable. Your physician may be able to make adjustments to reduce this discomfort.
After the procedure:
Immediately following each treatment session, you may return to your normal daily routine, including driving.
During or after treatment you may experience a headache or discomfort at the site of stimulation. These are common side effects that often improve as further treatment sessions are administered. If necessary, you can treat this discomfort with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, your TMS physician can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field pulses being administered in order to make treatment more comfortable.
In clinical trials, most patients who benefited from NeuroStar TMS Therapy experienced results by the fourth week of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer. You should discuss your depression symptoms with your physician throughout the treatment course.