TMS Therapy for depression
A safe and effective alternative to medication TMS Therapy
Bay Psychiatric Associates' TMS Physicians are the first physicians in the East Bay to treat patients using TMS therapy.
TMS Therapy was 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. Medications can cause unwanted side effects such as:
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.
How Does TMS Therapy Work?
Through a treatment coil, 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.
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.