Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a procedure used to target key areas of the brain that are underactive in people with depression. An image of an underactive brain is provided lower down on this page. It is not (electroconvulsive therapy ect).
During a NeuroStar treatment session, a magnet similar in strength to that used in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is used to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These magnetic pulses may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, making long-term remission possible. Please continue reading for more information about how this new technology separates itself from traditional methods of treating symptoms of depression.
Things to Know About NeuroStar Advanced Therapy:
- Treatment sessions are conducted in The C.U.B.E. office space.
- You are awake during treatment.
- You can return to normal activities right away.
- There are no negative effects on memory or sleep.
- It is covered by most health insurance plans, please contact the C.U.B.E. for more details.
- You can drive yourself to and from treatment sessions.
What to Expect From NeuroStar Advanced Therapy (TMS):
You will recline comfortably in the treatment chair. A small, curved magnetic coil will be positioned lightly on your head.
NeuroStar delivers focused magnetic stimulation directly to the target areas of the brain. You will hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on your head.
NeuroStar Advanced Therapy:
- Each treatment takes between 19 and 37 minutes.
- A full course of treatment lasts 4-6 weeks.
Q: What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, often referred to as TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of major depression. TMS is typically used when antidepressant medications haven’t been effective, have ceased working, or as an alternative to medication. The C.U.B.E. is an advocate for trying alternatives to the traditional methods for treating mental illness. Using TMS is just another tool in the tool box that we want to provide for patients seeking treatment.
Q: How does TMS work?
TMS involves delivering magnetic pulses to specific parts of the brain that are involved in mood.
Q: How long is TMS treatment?
A typical initial course of treatment is about 19-37 minutes daily over 4-6 weeks. The variation will depend on a doctor’s recommendations.
Q: Is TMS Therapy covered by my insurance?
A vast majority of commercial and Medicare plans have recognized the effectiveness of treating depression with TMS Therapy and now cover TMS as part of their plans. The C.U.B.E. can provide a list of insurance companies that we are empaneled with when this information is available.
Q: Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressant medications?
TMS does not circulate in the blood throughout the body, so it does not have side effects like weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc. The most common side effects reported during clinical trials were headache and scalp discomfort —generally mild to moderate—occurring less frequently after the first week of treatment.
Q: Is TMS Therapy like other alternative therapies that use magnets to treat some illnesses?
No. TMS Therapy involves a unique method of using pulsed magnetic fields for a therapeutic benefit. The intensity of the magnetic field is similar to that of an MRI. These techniques differ radically from the popular use of low intensity, static magnetic fields. Those products deliver weak and undirected static fields that are not capable of activating brain cells. The activation and stimulation of brain cells is a key part of why TMS is so effective.