How It Works
During A Treatment Session
- Does not affect cognitive function
- Does not require anesthetics
- Allows the patient to resume daily activities immediately
- Allows for treatment with or without antidepressants (determined by a physician)
This procedure is free from common antidepressant drug side effects. You may feel a slight tapping on the head due to the magnetic pulses on the scalp’s surface. There is no anesthesia required and you can resume daily activities immediately following treatment. You are relaxed and seated in a comfortable chair. Oftentimes, patients will listen to music, or even watch television during treatment.
The Science of TMS
TMS induces neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to make adaptive neuronal connections. It also stimulates circuits in the brain that are important in treating depression and other psychiatric disorders. Electromagnetic currents from the coil activate specific neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine) that are associated with symptoms of depression. The coil is placed on the side of your head, more specifically the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Studies have shown that this part of the brain can be under-active in individuals with major depression.
Similar to a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI), the TMS coil delivers short rapid pulses. These pulses only reach a few centimeters into the brain directly beneath the coil as to not affect the entire brain. As each magnetic pulse passes through the skull and into the brain, this induces brief activity of brain cells directly under the treatment coil. Rapid, repetitive TMS temporarily increases blood flow and metabolism in the brain related to where the coil is placed.
Our TMS Machine
The TMS machine we use completes the original FDA approved depression treatment session in under 19 minutes; older machines take twice as long to administer the same treatment. Theta Burst Stimulation, a novel TMS treatment that is also FDA cleared for depression, mimics the brain's natural Theta waves and can take as little as 3 minutes to administer. We have the only TMS machine (MagVenture) that is FDA cleared for Theta Burst Stimulation.