Discontinuing your medication is a decision that needs to be made between you and your healthcare provider. However, TMS therapy can be administered while a patient is on medication. It is actually preferred that you remain on your medication until therapy is complete.
ECT uses electricity to illicit a controlled seizure in the brain. This treatment is done under sedation, and the patient is incapacitated to drive for the rest of the day. ECT can have effects on cognition. TMS uses an MRI strength magnet to stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Patients are free to drive themselves to and from treatment. There is no sedation for this non-invasive treatment and no effect on cognition.
Each treatment lasts anywhere from 18 to 30 minutes, depending on the prescribed dose. The initial course of treatment will involve at least 30 consecutive treatment sessions over a 6-week period. That’s a treatment session each day Monday – Friday, plus 6 taper sessions in week 7.
Clinical studies support that as patients continue to fail on medication, their chances of response and remission decline rapidly with each medication failure. The American Psychiatric Association says that after 1 failed medication, TMS is an approved second line treatment option for Major Depressive Disorder.
All patients respond differently to TMS therapy. However, clinical studies support that 45% of patients achieve full remission from major depressive symptoms. That’s nearly ½ of patients going on to live their life free from depression. 68% of patients respond positively to TMS therapy. Response is classified as a 50% reduction in symptoms from baseline. That’s nearly 7/10 patients that go on to live their lives with much higher quality.
Of the 900 patients treated in clinical study, 67% of patients did not need re-introduction to therapy. Of the 33% of patients that needed re-introduced to TMS, 85% of those patients responded a second time.
TMS Therapy is a highly focused MRI-strength magnetic pulse that non-invasively stimulates the brain and treats major depression.
Specifically: The magnetic pulse depolarizes the cortical neurons in the brain which promotes the release of neurotransmitters. By depolarizing these neurons it modulates deeper regions of the brain that effect mood. Repeated pulse stimulation to this region of the brain are proven to have an anti-depressant effect. TMS therapy eliminates the side effects and adverse events often associated with antidepressant medications because it does not circulate throughout the body. This targeted approach to treatment is FDA cleared, safe and effective.
Every patient responds differently to TMS therapy. Clinical data shows that patients responded the best at 4 weeks, and even better at 6 weeks. The data also supports that due to the unique mechanism of action associated with TMS, patients continued to achieve positive results even 12 months after initial treatment.
The initial treatment is always administered by the prescribing psychiatrist. Following treatments are administered by a certified TMS technician as well as the prescribing psychiatrist when necessary.
Discontinuing your medication is a decision that needs to be made between you and your healthcare provider. However, TMS therapy has allowed patients to reduce their dosage of medication or even discontinue their medication all together and live free of the symptoms of depression.
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. Many patients report being less anxious after TMS along with the effects it has on their major depression. TMS is still only indicated for major depressive disorder, but it does help with anxiety in some patients.