TMS Therapy FAQs

Find answers to some of the most common questions about TMS therapy.

What is TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe and effective, FDA-approved treatment for patients with a diagnosis of moderate to severe depression who have not received satisfactory benefit from medications, who can not tolerate the side effects of medications, or who do not wish to take antidepressant medications.

How does TMS work?

TMS treats the source of depression, specifically the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) area of the brain, using an MRI strength magnetic impulse to stimulate underactive neurons. After repeated stimulation of these neurons, they begin to function properly restoring the neurochemical balance and neural pathways in the brain.

Is TMS right for me?

TMS is FDA-approved and covered by insurance for adult patients with major depressive disorder who have tried a minimum of two to four antidepressant medications and who have tried psychotherapy with no real benefit. The number of medications and length of psychotherapy is generally determined by your health insurance provider.

Research has shown TMS to be a safe and effective treatment for adolescents and teens, as well as other psychiatric and neurological conditions.

How long has TMS been in use?

TMS has been researched for nearly 30-years; however, was first FDA-approved for the treatment of depression in the United States in 2008.

I was diagnosed with depression, but I haven't tried medications. Is TMS right for me?

Many patients elect TMS as a first line of treatment and do not wish to take antidepressant medications. However, in order for insurance to cover the treatment, most require two to four antidepressant medication trials, as well as psychotherapy.

For patients without insurance or patients who do not qualify through their insurance, NeuroJust  offers out of pocket treatment options, including accelerated TMS options.  Schedule a consult today to discuss if TMS is right for you

How effective is TMS for depression?

Recent research indicates that the response rate and remission rate at the end of combined psychotherapy and TMS treatment were 66% and 56%, respectively. However, in clinical practice these percentages are generally much higher. Efficacy is highly dependent upon several factors, including the TMS system used, the correct treatment protocol, and accurate placement of the treatment coil with each treatment.

At NeuroJust, our clinical staff is certified in the treatment of TMS and we use one of the most advanced forms of TMS devices to ensure accurate placement of the treatment coil with every treatment.

What are the most common side effects of TMS?

Unlike medications TMS does not cause any systemic side effects, such as GI upset, body aches, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, cognitive decline, foggy thoughts, irritability or other debilitating symptoms.

The most common side effects include slight headache or discomfort at the treatment sight, which generally fade after the first few treatments. In clinical trials, there was a report incidence of seizure for 1 in 30,000 patients. At NeuroJust, part of our patient registration process includes a thorough evaluation for any medications, habits, or conditions that would increase the risk of seizure for any patient.

Do I need to wear earplugs during TMS sessions?

At NeuroJust, we recommend that all patients wear earplugs, as the treatment noise is similar to that of an MRI, but not quite as loud. We do require that all patients who elect not to wear earplugs, sign a waiver. During clinical trials and since its FDA-approval, TMS has not shown to cause any hearing problems or hearing loss.

What other conditions does TMS help with?

Like medications, TMS is often used 'off label'. Off label means that it has not been FDA-approved for the condition being treated; however, research shows that the treatment has shown effectiveness. TMS is often used to treat other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety, OCD, or PTSD.

How do I schedule an appointment?

NeuroJust makes it simple to schedule an appointment. You may visit our Contact Us page to obtain our contact information and give us a call to schedule an appointment or complete our online Request a TMS Consultation Form.

What should I expect during my TMS treatment?

During a TMS treatment you can relax in the comfort of our reclining TMS chair. Patients are awake during treatment, but many patients enjoy the time to relax and often take a nap during treatment. However, you may choose to listen to music or chat with the TMS technician.
TMS is not painful, is non-invasive, and there is no medications or sedation involved. All patients can immediately return to normal activities and there is no downtime.

How much does TMS cost?

For those who meet their insurance guidelines for TMS, NeuroJust obtains any necessary pre-authorization, and TMS is generally covered by insurance. Patients are responsible for any deductibles, copayments or coinsurance. For those paying out-of-pocket, the cost depends on the condition being treated, the number of sessions required, and the treatment protocol used. At NeuroJust we offer theta burst TMS and the standard 20-minute treatment protocol. We will discuss these options with you during your TMS Consultation visit.

Have a question about TMS?

NeuroJust is here to help. Send us a message and one of our NeuroJust patient advocates will be in touch soon.

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