Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a form of noninvasive brain stimulation. It uses magnetic fields to stimulate areas of the brain in order to treat mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). TMS has been approved by the FDA since 2008 and is currently used in more than 3,500 clinics around the world. In this guide, we’ll explore what TMS is and how it works.
How Does TMS Work?
TMS works by sending short pulses of magnetic energy into specific regions of the brain. This energy causes neurons to become active and release chemicals that help regulate mood. The stimulation also helps restore normal functioning in areas of the brain that may be affected by mental health disorders.
One of the main advantages of TMS is that it is a non-invasive procedure, meaning there are no needles or incisions involved. During a TMS session, patients sit comfortably while a device called a “coil” is placed against their scalp near their forehead. The coil sends out short bursts of magnetism that stimulate certain areas of the patient’s brain for about 20 minutes at a time over several weeks or months. Patients do not need anesthesia for this procedure and can typically resume their regular activities immediately after each session.
The Benefits of TMS
TMS is FDA Approved
The FDA has cleared TMS for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients who have not responded to traditional antidepressant treatments. This means that TMS is a safe and effective treatment option for people who have not been able to find relief from their symptoms with other treatments.
TMS is Non-Invasive
TMS is a non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia or sedation. During a TMS session, a magnetic coil is placed against your scalp near your forehead. The magnetic field passes through your skull and into your brain, where it stimulates the nerve cells.
TMS has Few Side Effects
The most common side effect of TMS is scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation. Other potential side effects include headaches, lightheadedness, and tingling sensations in the face and scalp. These side effects are usually mild and temporary.
TMS is an Effective Treatment for Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting more than 16 million adults in the United States each year. While there are many effective treatments available for depression, some people do not respond well to traditional antidepressant medications or therapy. For these people, TMS can be an effective alternative treatment option. In fact, studies have shown that TMS can be as effective as medication in treating depression.
TMS can be Used Along with Medication and Therapy
TMS can also be used in conjunction with other treatments such as medication and therapy. In fact, many people who receive TMS also continue to see a therapist on a regular basis.
TMS is Covered by Many Insurance Plans
Because TMS is FDA approved for the treatment of the major depressive disorder, many insurance plans cover the cost of treatment. Check with your insurance provider to see if they cover TMS before beginning treatment.
In summary, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe and effective way to treat various types of mental health disorders such as depression and OCD without any invasive procedures or medications. It has been approved by the FDA since 2008 and is currently in use at thousands of clinics worldwide. If you suffer from one of these conditions and are looking for an alternative treatment option, talk to your doctor about whether TMS might be right for you!