What is TMS Therapy? How does TMS Therapy work?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment that is FDA-approved for Depression & OCD. TMS uses a pulsed magnetic field to safely stimulate targeted regions in the brain. The pulses excite some of the cells in the brain called neurons, triggering the electrical impulse to release their chemicals, called neurotransmitters.
Over the course of several treatments, the targeted areas of the brain will have stronger connections between neurons and will allow more neurotransmitters to be available. TMS works by improving the function of the targeted brain region, which will lead to positive changes in mood.
What conditions are FDA Approved for TMS Therapy?
Brainsway Deep TMS has been FDA approved to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) since 2013, and in 2018 Brainsway became the only TMS manufacturer with FDA approval to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Hinsdale Psychiatry is one of the few providers in Illinois that has both treatments available to the public.
What is the difference between Deep TMS and Surface TMS?
Hinsdale Psychiatry offers Deep TMS using Brainsway’s H-Coils. Brainsway is unique because other manufacturers only offer Surface TMS, which uses a figure-8 coil. Brainsway’s H-Coil has a deeper and broader magnetic field that stimulates areas of the brain that a figure-8 coil simply cannot reach. The H-Coil is able to safely stimulate a larger area of brain volume, which means that it is more effectively stimulating the targeted brain structures involved in mood, like the limbic system. The helmet design for the H-Coil minimizes coil movement, preventing loss of contact between the coil and the patient’s head, so it has more consistent targeting than a figure-8 coil.
What kind of side effects does TMS have?
TMS has no systematic side effects. Some people will have a mild headache after the first few TMS treatments. During the treatment pulses, there may be some jaw clenching or eye twitching, but this is usually not bothersome to the patient. Most people will tolerate the treatment very well, and only feel a mild discomfort or a “tapping sensation” on the temple during the pulses. Since the pulses are only 2-seconds long, followed by 20 seconds of relief, the mild discomfort felt during the pulses does not usually bother the patient enough to discontinue treatments.
Who is a good candidate for TMS Therapy ?
A good candidate for TMS Therapy would be someone has tried or is currently taking antidepressant medication, and found it was ineffective, noticed it stopped working over time, or was unable to tolerate the side effects. A good candidate will also be in talk therapy, or will have tried therapy in the past.
If you have metal implants in the head or neck, implanted medical devices such as a pacemaker, have a history of seizures, or a history of psychosis, you may not be a good candidate for TMS.
How long is the typical course of TMS?
The typical treatment course for Depression is a total of 36 sessions, consisting of 5 treatments per week over a 6-week period, followed by a tapering schedule of 2 treatments per week for 3 weeks. Each treatment session lasts approximately 20 minutes. Patients can drive themselves to and from the office, and resume their normal activities right away.
The typical treatment course for OCD is 29 sessions, 5 days per week for 5 weeks followed by one week of 4 sessions. Each treatment just under 20 minutes long.The OCD treatment protocol includes an individualized “script” that is read to the patient before the treatment. The script is related to the patient’s individual obsessions or compulsions. The script helps activate a pathway in the brain that the TMS pulses will work with, and is only triggering enough stress to bring the patient to a mild level of discomfort. The patient is always aware of what is in the script before the treatments begin, and it may be modified as the patient’s stress response to the script often diminishes over the course of treatment.
I am interested in TMS therapy. How do I start the process?
You can contact us by phone at 630-995-9905, or via email at TMS@hinsdalepsychiatry.com If you are a potentially good candidate for deep TMS, the TMS Coordinator will help you schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Sapana Chokshi, the Psychiatrist and Medical Director of Hinsdale Psychiatry, as soon as possible.
You may also print off a Referral Form to take to your psychiatrist or primary care doctor to discuss whether deep TMS is a good option for you. Once they fax the form to our office, we will follow up with you to schedule your consultation.