What is rTMS therapy?
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-systemic, non- invasive form of brain stimulation therapy used to treat depression and anxiety. It has been FDA approved since 2008 for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The therapy involves using a magnet to target and stimulate certain areas of the brain. This stimulation produces changes in neuronal activity in regions of the brain implicated in mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex. Over the course of several treatments, this results in improvement in depressive symptoms.
rTms differs from dTMS (deep transcranial magnetic stimulation). See FAQ for more information.
How Does TMS Work?
TMS treatment involves multiple sessions over a course of several weeks. Each session typically last just under 20 During TMS you will sit or recline while an electromagnetic coil is held near your head. While under doctor’s supervision, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the forehead near the area of your brain that regulates mood. The coil then passes magnetic pulses to a targeted part of your brain. This induces an electrical current in specific nerve cells. It is theorized that these electrical currents stimulate brain cells in a complex way that can reduce depression.
Unlike medication, TMS is not associated with sexual side effects, weight gain, nausea or other common side effects that can occur with traditional antidepressant medication use. It is conveniently performed in our office under our supervision and patients stay alert and awake during each treatment. Once the treatment session is over patients can resume their normal routine. Treatment is completed after 36 sessions.
Is TMS right for you?
TMS is used to treat severe depression but can also show benefits in anxiety disorders including OCD. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is usually recommended only after medication and psychotherapy fail to work. We suggest taking at least one round of prescription antidepressants before exploring the possibility of TMS. Antidepressants and psychotherapy may be used in combination with TMS. Here at Hawkins Psychiatry we use Magventure rTMS system for TMS therapy.
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