Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in
Treating depression safely, without medication.
About NeuroStar® TMS Therapy
NeuroStar employs transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to specifically target key areas of the brain that exhibit reduced activity in individuals experiencing depression. It is important to note that NeuroStar is distinct from electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Although the precise cause of depression remains unknown, the prevailing scientific theory suggests that an imbalance of neurotransmitters, the brain's chemical messengers responsible for transmitting signals between brain cells, may contribute to its development.
So, what exactly is NeuroStar Advanced Therapy (TMS)?
In a NeuroStar treatment session, a magnet of similar strength to that used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines is utilized to stimulate nerve cells in the brain region believed to regulate mood. These magnetic pulses have the potential to positively influence neurotransmitter levels, potentially leading to long-term remission.
The process of undergoing NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is simple:
Therapy sessions take place in the office of your NeuroStar doctor.
You can resume normal activities immediately following treatment.
You remain conscious throughout the procedure.
There are no adverse effects on memory or sleep.
The therapy is covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Tricare.
With over three million treatments administered, this innovative approach to achieving remission is instilling fresh hope in individuals on a daily basis.
How NeuroStar® TMS Therapy Works
Here's what you can anticipate during a session of NeuroStar Advanced Therapy (TMS):
Before the Treatment
You will recline comfortably in a treatment chair while a small, curved magnetic coil is gently positioned on your head.
During the Treatment
NeuroStar administers focused magnetic stimulation directly to the specific areas of the brain targeted for treatment. You will hear a clicking sound and experience a tapping sensation on your head.
After the Treatment
NeuroStar Advanced Therapy: The duration of each treatment typically ranges from 19 to 37 minutes, depending on your doctor's recommendation.
You can immediately resume your normal activities right away. Since there are no effects on alertness or memory, you can independently drive to and from your treatment sessions.
In-office treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy typically lasts for 19-37 minutes and is administered five days a week for approximately four to six weeks.*
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 depression. TMS is typically used when antidepressant medications haven’t been effective, have ceased working, or as an alternative to medication.
How does TMS work?TMS involves delivering magnetic pulses to specific parts of the brain.
How long is TMS treatment?A typical initial course of treatment is about 19-37 minutes daily over 4-6 weeks.
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.
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
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.
Does it hurt?While there may be some minor discomfort at the treatment site (where the device touches your head), it generally subsides within the first week of treatment. There is no sedation, or impact on your alertness. You can read, watch TV, or talk with your treatment coordinator during your session, and you can drive home immediately after treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are your partners in your TMS journey.
Our team is highly skilled at providing you the best treatment. Finding new solutions is always our priority.
TMS Clinical Trials & Academic Studies
Carpenter LL, et al. (2012). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice. Depression and Anxiety, 29(7):587-596. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22689344
George MS, et al. (2010). Daily Left Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Sham-Controlled Randomized Trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 67(5):507-516. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439832
Dunner DL, et al. (2014). A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Patients with Pharmacoresistant Major Depressive Disorder: Durability of Benefit Over a 1-Year Follow-Up Period. J Clin Psychiatry. 75(12):1394-1401. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271871
O’Reardon JP, et al. (2007). Efficacy and Safety of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Acute Treatment of Major Depression: A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial. Biol Psychiatry, 62(11):1208-1216. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17573044