Treating Depression Without Drugs
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that has been proven effective for treatment-resistant depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a clinically proven treatment for patients with depression or other psychiatric disorders. At our center, we use the Apollo TMS Therapy System, a unique, high quality design which has an inviting, modern look. Access the Apollo TMS Therapy System Brochure here.
What is TMS?
- Pulsed magnetic stimulation of the brain
- Safe and Painless – with no surgery, hospitalization or anesthesia needed
- Effective – 1 in 2 patients respond to TMS (Carpenter et al, 2012)
- Precise – targeting only the part of the brain thought to be involved in regulating mood
- Easy on the body – with no medication required and none of the systemic side effects commonly associated with antidepressants — the most common side effect of TMS is a generally mild to moderate scalp discomfort
- Non-Invasive – no surgery, anesthesia or sedation necessary
- Non-Systemic – does not circulate in the bloodstream
How Does TMS Work?
Unlike traditional medication, TMS works through the principle of electromagnetic induction. A magnetic coil is placed over the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain involved in mood regulation. The TMS machine generates magnetic pulses, which travel harmlessly through the skull to noninvasively stimulate this area of the brain. The activity of brain cells in the prefrontal cortex is believed to be dysfunctional in patients with depression, and can be corrected through targeted TMS therapy. The prefrontal cortex communicates with deeper brain areas like the limbic system, which are also involved in mood regulation. Through multiple sessions, these changes can become long lasting and many patients achieve remission from their symptoms.
Side Effects and Safety:
TMS is safe and well-tolerated – does not circulate in the blood stream, causing side effects like typical antidepressant medications. Some patients report experiencing slight irritation at the scalp, mild headache or some tingling in areas of the face, jaw or scalp. There is a small risk of seizure associated with TMS, which is less than or equal to the risk associated with antidepressant medication (0.1% per treatment course).
Is TMS like Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?
Unlike ECT, TMS:
- Does not involve sedation or anesthesia, and can be performed in the comfort of our office
- Does not have negative effects on memory or cognition
Who is a Good Candidate for TMS?
- Have depression
- Have not responded to other treatments
- Are dissatisfied or want to improve the effectiveness of their existing antidepressant regimen
TMS is not for patients with:
- Deep brain stimulators
- Cochlear implants
- Vagus nerve stimulators
- Any other active or inactive implants
Cutting edge, non-invasive therapy that stimulates areas of the brain that control mood. Dr. Gupta directly supervises TMS treatments. At our center, we use the Apollo TMS Therapy System, a unique, high quality design which has an inviting, modern look. Access the Apollo TMS Therapy System Brochure here.
A new standard in depression treatment
The Apollo TMS Therapy System is designed for enhanced depression therapy. It offers innovative streamlined workflow for safety and effectiveness. Patients can move their heads around during treatment to get comfortable. Protocol safety checks are regular and required aspect of Apollo TMS’ use.
How long does a TMS Treatment take?
Apollo TMS Therapy for treatment of MDD takes 19 to 37 minutes per session and is applied while the patient is awake and alert. The sessions will be repeated 5 times a week over 4-6 weeks in total. Apollo TMS Therapy is an in-office treatment.
Normal activities are possible after the treatment sessions.
Treatment Schedule of Apollo TMS Therapy System
Safe & Effective:
TMS in general is a safe alternative therapy for patients who do not benefit from or tolerate other treatment options. TMS is accepted as an evidence-based treatment option by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), and the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP). TMS does not cause memory impairment, unlike ECT treatment. TMS is FDA approved for treatment resistant depression. Over 1 million treatments have been performed on more than 25,000 patients.
Long Lasting Symptom Relief:
Depending on the stimulation protocol, neuronal functionalities can be inhibited or facilitated for a defined period of time. Repetitive TMS, also known as rTMS, may produce longer-lasting changes in electro-cortical functionalities. Overactive or inhibited (e.g. depression) areas of the brain can be focally modulated with TMS by applying rTMS over a certain period of time. In a randomized clinical trial, 68% of participants still maintain the benefits after 1 year.
TMS is a precise, medication-free outpatient treatment that is easily conducted in a doctor’s office. It can be safely used with or without antidepressants. Targeted modulation of prefrontal networks when compared to traditional medication is non-invasive and well tolerated, and contains no systemic or side effects. TMS is safe and suitable for long-term treatment.
During TMS, patients are awake and alert for treatments. You can engage in normal activities immediately after. Unlike ECT, TMS is offered in a comfortable office based setting. You can watch TV during your 20-30 minute sessions.
No Side Effects:
With TMS, there are no side effects of weight gain, sexual dysfunction, fatigue experienced with use of medications. Some people may feel discomfort or mild pain around the treatment area, which usually goes away in a week.
TMS is Covered by Most Common Medical Insurances
Clinical TMS Society