TMS Therapy® for depressionA safe and effective alternative to medication
Bay Psychiatric Associates' TMS Physicians are the
first physicians in the East Bay to treat patients using NeuroStar TMS therapy,
approved in October 2008 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
as a safe and effective alternative to antidepressant medication for treating depression.*
The American Psychiatric Association's (APA) guidelines place TMS Therapy in the depression care pathway for patients whose symptoms have not been adequately treated by initial antidepressant medication. Two additional authoritative organizations have issued psychiatric treatment guidelines published in 2009 that reviewed the evidence of TMS efficacy and safety and made recommendations on its use for major depression. They are the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Disorders and the World Federation of Societies for Biological Psychiatry, both of which concluded there is now sufficient Level 1 evidence to support the use of TMS as an acute treatment for major depression.
- Antidepressants are effective at treating depression in many patients, but don't work for everyone.
- And medications can cause unwanted side effects such as
- weight gain, sexual problems, upset stomach, sleepiness and dry mouth.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is:
- - Non-invasive. It does not involve surgery, anesthesia
- or sedation. The patient remains awake and alert and
- can resume normal activities immediately following treatment.
- - Non-systemic. It is not a medication, so it does not circulate
- throughout the patient's body in the bloodstream.
* NeuroStar TMS Therapy is indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from one prior antidepressant medication at or above the minimal effective dose and duration in the current episode.
How does TMS Therapy work?
Through a treatment coil, the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system generates highly concentrated, magnetic fields that turn on and off very rapidly. These magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
The treatment coil is applied to the head above the left prefrontal cortex. The magnetic fields focus on the part of the brain involved in mood regulation. They do not affect the whole brain. They only reach about two to three centimeters into the brain directly beneath the treatment coil.
Releasing neurotransmitters, alleviating symptoms
The magnetic fields produce very small electrical currents activate cells within the brain. These cells are thought to release neurotransmitters. It is believed that the symptoms of depression can be alleviated by increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters.
- Are there side effects?
- Is it safe and appropriate?
- How long does it take?
- What are the potential risks?
- Does it cause memory loss?
- Is TMS Therapy uncomfortable?
- How long does the antidepressant effect of TMS Therapy last?
- Can I take antidepressants if I am receiving TMS Therapy?
- Will TMS Therapy be covered by my insurance and/or Medicare?
- What are some of the results from clinical studies on TMS Therapy?