TMS Therapy for Depression
Have medicines and traditional psychotherapy failed to solve your problems with depression? There is another option — TMS, which stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. TMS therapy for depression is the solution to your depression dilemma.
TMS is an alternative for the 30 to 50 percent of depressed people who don’t respond to antidepressants. Studies have found that 58 percent of patients showed improvement, including 37 percent who achieved full remission. TMS therapy for depression can also help with addiction and anxiety.
What Is TMS Therapy for Depression?
TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. TMS is non-invasive, using an over-the-head coil. Technicians use the coil to administer brief magnetic pulses every 20 seconds to a specific part of the brain. Physicians started using TMS to treat depression in the 1980s.
Frequently, doctors use TMS therapy for depression as an alternative to pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy. Patients who fail to achieve an adequate response to either method should consider TMS therapy for depression in Tampa, Florida.
The magnetic pulses induce neuron activity inside the magnetic field created by the treatment coil. TMS therapy for depression focuses on brain areas associated with mood or pain, such as the left prefrontal cortex. The pulses activate the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Science associates both chemicals with happiness and, more broadly, your mood. Conversely, doctors implicate the absence of these chemicals as a cause of depression. Studies show that the front-left side of the brain, which deals with these chemicals, is underactive in depressed patients. Therefore, doctors focus TMS therapy for depression on the left prefrontal cortex.
What is TMS therapy for depression? A way to harness magnetism to “activate” critical chemicals in your brain.
The Process of TMS Therapy for Depression
TMS therapy for depression in Tampa, Florida, begins with the first session. In this first session, doctors conduct measurements to individualize your TMS therapy for depression.
TMS therapy for depression uses magnetic pulses; physicians ask patients to remove jewelry and credit cards. Like MRI machines, TMS machines produce a loud clicking sound. Staff provide earplugs to patients to prevent hearing loss in the short and long-term.
During the first session of TMS therapy for depression, physicians measure your head to position the TMS coil properly. Afterward, the TMS technician suspends said coil over your scalp. Then, the physician finds the motor cortex of your brain so they can measure your motor threshold.
Your motor threshold measures the minimum amount of power required to make your thumb twitch. The threshold varies between patients. By measuring your motor threshold, the doctor knows the amount of energy needed to stimulate your nerve cells and neurotransmitters.
After measuring your motor threshold, the doctor places the coil on the patient’s scalp, above the treatment area. It is at this point that patients hear loud clicks and feel tapping on their scalp under the TMS coil.
What Is TMS Therapy For Depression’s Timeline?
Each patient receives TMS therapy for depression individualized for their needs. Staff monitor your progress throughout your TMS therapy for depression in Tampa, Florida. As a result, the length of TMS therapy for depression varies. Generally, TMS therapy for depression lasts 4 to 6 weeks, with sessions held five days a week.
Every session during TMS therapy for depression in Tampa, Florida, lasts between 20-45 minutes. Treatment times vary from patient to patient, depending on what the doctor prescribes. At first, each session lasts 1 hour, ensuring enough time to treat the patient adequately. The length of each session may change throughout treatment, depending on the patient’s response.
As opposed to electroshock therapy, TMS therapy does not require sedation, anesthesia, or muscle relaxants. Patients can resume daily activities immediately after a TMS session.
Patients with non-removable metal in their body should not undergo TMS therapy, with an exception for braces and dental fillings. The most common side effect of TMS therapy for depression is a mild headache. Some patients also report scalp irritation and facial twitching, which lessen as treatment goes on.