If you haven’t yet heard of TMS, you are missing the boat! TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and it’s taking the mental health world by storm. It’s the latest thing for treatment resistant Major Depressive Disorder or “hard to treat” depression. If it’s so great, why haven’t you heard of it? Fair question. The answer: this treatment isn’t owned or marketed through the deep pockets of Big Pharma. So the fire started in 2008 when Neurostar was awarded the first FDA system clearance and the spark caught a flame in 2016 when almost all major insurance companies began covering the revolutionary treatment.
What is TMS? The Mayo Clinic describes it as “a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven’t been effective.”
What does it feel like? TMS feels like someone is tapping firmly on your head. Patients report that it’s uncomfortable but easy to tolerate. After a thirtyminute session, patients can drive back home or to work. It’s non-invasive and doesn’t require sedation.
How many times do I have to do it? A full course of treatment is 30-40 sessions. Each session lasts from 20-40 minutes.
Will I see a doctor? A psychiatrist must determine if you are a candidate for TMS. If you are a candidate and decide to go forward, the doctor works with the TMS technician to determine the precise area of your brain that will be treated.
How well does it work? Over sixty clinical trials reported 58% response rates and 37.1% remission rates compared to medication, which are on average around 32% remission. In short, it works!
How do I know if I’m a candidate? To become an elligible candidate for TMS, you need to have a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder and have tried at least two medications that were not successful.
How do I find a TMS provider? You can visit www.AnewEraTMS.com for a comprehensive listing of all providers.
I want my Treatment Center to be a TMS provider. What do I need to know? This is a great time for treatment centers to explore if their centers would qualify as TMS provider. You need to know what your system options are. Make sure the system you choose is FDA cleared so you can better ensure insurance reimbursement. You need to have all the necessary patient forms for informed consent, a professional who can advise you on best billing practices, and also someone who is familiar with the unique population of chemical dependency treatment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a great alternative and adjunct treatment for depression. TMS also works on the executive functioning aspect of the brain so you will find your thoughts are clearer. You will be less likely to make impulsive decisions and better able to concentrate in teaching settings.
When I found out TMS could arrest depressive symptoms for up to fourteen months and longer, I knew this treatment opportunity for co-occurring disorder clients may very well be the revolutionary treatment we’ve been looking for to support long term sustainable recovery.