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FAQs About TMS Depression Treatment
TMS therapy is a medical technological advancement for treating Major Depressive Disorder approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008. TMS uses magnetic pulses with an intensity comparable to an MRI machine to activate brain cells and alleviate depressive symptoms. Depression treatment with TMS does not involve any drugs or surgery. In addition, it is not systemic like traditional antidepressants, so it will not change how your body normally functions.
How does TMS work?
Mental health providers often prescribe antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat depression. They suggest transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) if such strategies do not work. During a session of TMS, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the patient's head so that magnetic waves may enter the brain.
The exact origins of depression are still a mystery. TMS, on the other hand, focuses on the area of the brain hypothesized to blame. Medical experts believe that TMS's beneficial effects on mood and depression symptoms are due to the reactivation of previously inactive brain regions.
Does TMS cause any discomfort?
Since TMS is a non-invasive therapy, the patient may remain fully alert during the procedure. Some people say they feel a tingling in their scalp while the stimulation occurs, while others say they have a mild headache afterward. These symptoms may be because TMS treatments use magnetic fields to stimulate the brain like the magnetic waves generated by an MRI scanner.
In most cases, the physical sensations experienced during or after a TMS session are minimal and fleeting. Although TMS may superficially resemble electroconvulsive treatment (ECT), the two have significant differences. Unlike TMS, ECT uses a sedative, and some patients may have temporary disorientation or memory loss after treatment.
Who is a good candidate for TMS?
TMS may be helpful if a patient has tried psychotherapy and at least one medication for depression but still has symptoms. Furthermore, if antidepressants have not worked, TMS may be a better option. To find out if the TMS treatment process is the proper treatment for a patient, they may need to undergo a psychiatric evaluation for TMS. The psychiatrist will ask the necessary questions and perform the tests to ascertain a patient's eligibility.
What are the side effects associated with TMS?
TMS is well tolerated and has no known risks. In contrast to antidepressants, TMS has little, if any, adverse side effects. We previously mentioned that some people who get TMS therapy have headaches or painful scalps, but these side effects often go away during the first week of treatment.In addition, the chance of having a seizure while undergoing TMS is relatively small (around .01 percent).
Is TMS safe?
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized TMS, and patients may quickly return to their routine after treatment. In addition, TMS has not been linked to any mental decline. Therefore, treatment should not affect learning, comprehension, or awareness.
Patients with deep brain stimulators, cochlear implants, vagus nerve stimulators, or any other implanted device that uses conductive metal or a stimulator should not undergo TMS. In addition, patients who have suffered seizures in the past or have a history of traumatic brain damage are not good candidates for TMS.
Find out if TMS is right for you
TMS treatment is daily and given as an outpatient service. This depression usually entails a daily session for four to six weeks. Treatments are always based on the individual patient. Unfortunately, depression is often a chronic illness that persists throughout life. TMS, however, provides hope for remission for many people. While TMS is not a magic bullet, it has proven to help patients.
Contact our office today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment to see if TMS is right for you.
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