What is TMS Therapy?
Since the 1980s, transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used to study the nerve fibers that carry information about movements from the brain to the spinal cord and onto the muscles. In the late 1990s, physicians began to explore the therapeutic potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of a variety of diseases, with depression being the most thoroughly studied to date.
Since then, more than 30 randomized, controlled trials studying transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression have been published by investigators throughout the world.
Based on the 2010 APA (Americal Psychiatric Association) the guidelines for the treatment of depression changed to include TMS Therapy as a second-line treatment modality.
TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) Therapy is for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medications. Using pulsed magnetic fields, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy stimulates the part of the brain thought to be involved with mood regulation. TMS Therapy is a short outpatient procedure, performed in our office under supervision while you remain awake and alert. The typical initial course of treatment is about 20-30 minutes daily over 4-6 weeks.
Numerous peer-reviewed medical journal articles have shown promise for TMS therapy in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tinnitus, Eating Disorders, Migraines, Pain Management, Post-partum Depression and other mood disorders.
In May of 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published the results of their study on TMS therapy titled – Daily Left Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder -A Sham-Controlled Randomized Trial. The objective of this study was to test whether daily left prefrontal rTMS safely and effectively treats major depressive disorder(MDD). Approximately 860 outpatients were screened, yielding 199 antidepressant drug–free patients with unipolar nonpsychotic major depressive disorder. In this National Institutes of Health–sponsored, industry-independent trial, high-intensity rTMS for at least 3 weeks was significantly more likely than sham rTMS to induce remission in antidepressant medication–free patients with moderately treatment-resistant unipolar MDD. The results of this study suggest that prefrontal rTMS is a monotherapy with few adverse effects and significant antidepressant effects for unipolar depressed patients who do not respond to medications or who cannot tolerate them. Click Here to read the entire study.