Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a form of non-invasive treatment which helps stimulate the brain nerves using magnetic pulses. Typically, a doctor will suggest TMS treatment when the patient is diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. TMS is highly effective in relieving symptoms of depression and improving the mood in patients. Here are some of the key things you should know about TMS treatment for depression.
What is TMS?
Generally, healthcare professionals will utilize therapy and medication to help treat depression in patients. In patients who are resistant to these first-line treatments, doctors may recommend alternative solutions like TMS, where a magnetic coil will be placed on the scalp or forehead of the patient. The coil then sends a magnetic pulse that passes directly through the skull to stimulate certain nerves in the brain.
The doctor will usually administer the pulses in rapid succession to produce longer-lasting effects on the brain nerves. The magnetic pulses emitted are similar in type and strength to that of an MRI machine; the patient will not feel any form of pain.
What is TMS Treatment for Depression?
During TMS treatment for depression, doctors will place greater emphasis on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain that’s responsible for several cognitive functions such as mood management and memory. Studies have shown that stimulating this part of the brain using magnetic pulses can benefit how the nerve cells work, thus alleviating some of the symptoms faced by patients who have depression.
However, while most people respond well to TMS treatment, its antidepressant effect can wear off over some time.
Who is Suitable for TMS?
Depression is a complex condition that can be very complicated to treat. People who are deemed by the doctor to have treatment-resistant depression or those that are unable to consume medication for various reasons are ideal candidates for TMS treatment.
Who is Unsuitable for TMS?
It is not recommended for people to receive TMS treatment if they have the following implants in their head:
- Aneurysm coils or clips
- Bullet or shrapnel fragments
- Ear implants or metallic eye
- Facial tattoos with magnetic ink
- Deep brain stimulators
People who are at a higher risk of experiencing seizures should also avoid TMS since seizures are one of the possible side effects.
What are the Side Effects of TMS?
While TMS is generally safe and well-tolerated by many patients, it is common for people to experience some side effects, such as:
- Temporary hearing problems
- Facial twitching during treatment
- Painful scalp during treatment
- Tension headaches
Seizures are more serious side effects that can occur, but the chances are significantly low.
Comprehensive Psychiatric Services at Wonder Years
Here at Wonder Years, we provide an extensive array of top-quality psychiatric services available for patients with varying needs. Whether it’s offering second opinions, therapy, ADHD coaching, telepsychiatry, or even TMS treatment, we can help you. We focus strongly on compliance with treatment as well as regular discussion regarding medications, diagnosis, and any potential side effects arising from treatment plans.
Feel free to reach out to us and begin your journey with us at Wonder Years today.