TMS: How Effective Is It?

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Is depression keeping you from living your best life? Would you like to break free of persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest with the help of a simple and non-invasive treatment? Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is an option that has offered great results to patients of Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson & Associates in Park City, UT.

How Effective Is TMS?

TMS can be an effective option for patients who have tried antidepressants and psychotherapy but continue to struggle with depression. Patients who undergo treatment usually see significant improvement. Although TMS does not permanently alleviate depression, most patients feel better for months or even a year after treatment, and a few see their symptoms go away indefinitely.

This treatment improves your mood and your quality of life while making it easier for you to maintain positive relationships with family and friends. And it gets to work quickly. Patients often say their symptoms of depression begin to ease during the very first week of treatment.

Will It Allow Me To Get Off Antidepressants?

TMS is sometimes incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan alongside antidepressants. In other cases, it is used in place of pharmaceuticals. That makes it is a great option for individuals who are unable to tolerate pharmaceuticals and their side effects, as well as those who have not seen results from these medications.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Boost My Results?

Our practice has developed protocols, including specific brain games you can perform during treatment, that can help improve your outcome. Our medical director, Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson, an integrative psychiatrist, will also put a plan in place for your medications, sleep, nutrition, and exercise. She will meet with you as your treatment series progresses to ensure progress is being made.

We also offer wellness coaching packages that can support a healthy and happy lifestyle.

What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

TMS is a treatment that can help with depression and a host of other neurological conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. It uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerves in parts of the brain that are less active when the patient is experiencing depression. This treatment is covered by most insurance plans, and it involves a series of easy, painless sessions.

How Does It Work?

The magnetic field is created by the placement of a coil of wires shaped like a figure-eight on your head. During your first appointment, we’ll determine the proper position of the coil on your skull, as well as the magnet strength required. You’ll be comfortably relaxed in a treatment chair. You’ll also remain awake, with no need for anesthesia, during treatment.

Once treatment begins, magnetic pulses will be delivered to specific areas of your brain. These will feel like the tap of a pencil against your skull, and although it may take a few minutes for you to adjust to them, they won’t be painful. The treatment will also make a clicking sound, so we’ll provide a set of earplugs to use during your appointment.

Will I Have To Take Any Special Precautions After Treatment?

No. After completing each session, you’ll be able to get right back to your normal schedule. You’ll even be able to drive yourself home or back to your office.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

We often recommend roughly six weeks of treatment, with appointments scheduled four to five days a week initially. The first appointment is usually the longest because we’ll be adjusting and positioning the coil. Subsequent appointments can usually be completed in less than an hour.

Is This Treatment Safe?

Yes. This treatment has been approved by the FDA and has been safely and widely used. Our specially trained technicians will stay with you during the sessions to make sure you are comfortable.

What Benefits Are Associated With This Treatment?

It’s Convenient

These treatments involve no preparation, no anesthesia, and no downtime. The only thing we’ll ask of you during your appointment is that you remove any jewelry that may interfere with the magnetic field.

It Offers Results Quickly

This treatment can often alleviate symptoms associated with depression more quickly than pharmaceuticals can. Although you’ll need to finish the full series of treatments, it’s not uncommon for patients to see signs of improvement after just a handful of appointments.

It Can Help When Traditional Methods Have Been Unsuccessful

One of the biggest benefits associated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is that it can help with treatment-resistant depression or depression that hasn’t responded to medication and therapy. TMS can offer much-needed relief to patients who have tried those first-line approaches but still struggle with depression.

It’s Versatile

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is best known for its ability to ease depression and anxiety. But this versatile treatment is also FDA approved for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder issues. It can also be used to address other conditions, such as chronic pain, Tinnitus, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

It Won’t Interfere With Your Concentration

Memory loss and difficulty concentrating are not problems patients undergoing TMS treatments have to worry about. That’s one of the ways that TMS differs from electroconvulsive therapy, otherwise known as ECT or shock therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy, which involves the electrical stimulation of the brain, is also used to treat stubborn depression. But electroconvulsive therapy can sometimes influence a patient’s memory or cognition.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation candidates are often individuals who have tried one or more traditional depression treatments with no success. Patients should be 16 years of age or older and free of certain metal implants, such as cochlear implants and deep brain stimulators. Patients should also not have a history of seizure disorders.

This approach to depression relief is also a nice option for mothers who are breastfeeding and careful about taking medications as a result. It’s also an appealing approach for patients in search of a more holistic approach to treatment.

Will I Need To Be Screened in Advance?

Yes. Before any treatment, you’ll meet with Dr. Melissa, who will determine if this treatment is a good option for you.

Will My Insurance Cover These Treatments?

Ever since the FDA signed off on these treatments in 2008, insurance coverage has improved, including through Medicare. If you’ve been seeking relief from treatment-resistant depression and other approaches have failed you, your insurance policy may cover this. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider before beginning treatment.

Treatment Q&A

How Long Has This Treatment Been Around?

The basic concept behind Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation was formed in 1771 by Luigi Galvani, who developed the study of electricity in the body. Michael Faraday, a physicist, also played a role in the formulation of this approach when he figured out how to create magnetic fields with electric currents in 1881. Scientists have experimented with brain stimulation through electromagnetic fields since 1896.

What Is the Right Age To Undergo This Treatment?

Studies have found that age does not influence the effectiveness of this treatment. As long as the patient is at least 16 years of age, he or she can be considered a potential candidate.

How Bad Does My Depression Need to Be for This Treatment To Work?

This treatment can address stubborn depression of all levels, from mild to severe.

Can This Treatment Be Used To Address Autism?

There have only been a handful of small studies conducted to determine the effectiveness of this treatment with autism, and the results have been inconclusive.

It’s Time To Try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Many of our patients have seen a significant improvement in their depression with the help of this innovative treatment. Maybe it’s time for you to give it a try. Call Dr. Melissa Lopez-Larson & Associates in Park City, UT, and schedule a free consultation appointment today!

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