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Long-term Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

We live in a more mentally-compromised world today – at least there is much more awareness of mental health now. There are 350 million people who suffer from depression according to the World Health Organization. At least 16 million of those people live in the United States. There are 40 million Americans whose lives are negatively-impacted by Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety disorders often come coupled with other disorders, like substance abuse, depression, and more. Obsessive compulsive disorder affects 2.2 Americans as well. Due to the many disorders that debilitate the population today, millions of prescriptions are given. This has a ton of profound side effects that are sometimes arguably worse than the conditions being treated.


Solutions a Worldwide Epidemic

That is why research is being done to find ways that can help the mental situation the world is living in. The search for an effective panacea for mental illnesses is continuing day-by-day. One of the most promising cures that have little to no negative long-term impact is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).


TMS encourages the neural pathways that focuses on the limbic system. It encourages it to do more of its work. This, in turn, fosters more positive chemicals in the brain to counteract the effects of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. People who suffer from depression and anxiety have a weakened limbic system that does not function “normally”. Rather than getting prescription pills to carry chemicals that force your brain to function in an unnatural manner, TMS simply uses magnetic vibrations to stimulate the limbic system.


TMS Side Effects

There is little to no negative side effects when someone goes through TMS therapy. The most common complaint is just a minor headache. This is expected since the brain is stimulated much more than what it normally goes through. This is similar to someone who has just started working out and is feeling some muscle pain. TMS functions like working out, but it targets very specific areas. Can you imagine doing 15000 push-ups and 10000 laps around the gym? That is what TMS does but in a more scientific way. Since the areas of the brain that fosters positive sensations does not get to produce a lot of activity, the therapy session makes those areas of the brain to work more.


Why do TMS don’t have a lot of negative side effects? This is because this kind of therapy is both non-invasive and non-systemic. It is non-invasive because it does not open up your body with cuts like a surgical operation. It is non-systemic because you do not ingest it orally. This is unlike antidepressant drugs and other prescription pills. A surgical operation has the risk of complications. Plus, taking oral medicine does have effects that are not wanted and not intended, like damage to the liver and kidney.


Major Results, Minor Problems

If you go through a TMS session, the most unwanted side effect would either be some minor headaches throughout a day or at most a few days. Other side effects include minor hearing impairments and discomfort in some areas of your head. Studies have shown no negative side effects for 257 patients, with 45% of those patients reporting complete remission. Another study regarding TMS includes more than 800 patients surveyed. Other than a headache for a few days that can come and go, no negative long-term side effects were seen.


TMS is Worth Looking Into

Imagine the liberating feeling of no longer being chained by your depression or your anxiety. To put the icing on the cake, there are no long-term side effects as proven by real-life medical case studies. You can have a more joyful life without the medicines and you give the happy area of the brain more exercise. You can get that only through TMS. To learn more, Contact TMS of the Palm Beaches today.


Depression is a major epidemic not only in the U.S. but globally as well. It has debilitated many of the people who have this condition. These people cannot properly perform daily tasks due to clinical depression. This often leads to serious financial, relationship, business, and work consequences.

A lot of treatments have been developed for depression. These include counselling, physiotherapy, prescribed medications, and even natural, holistic therapies. But, one effective way to manage and treat depression is called the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System (TMS System). It is more often referred to simply as TMS.


What Is A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System (TMS System)?

The TMS system is a comprehensive procedure of stimulating specific brain regions. During these procedures, a coil is placed near the patient’s head. Through electromagnetic induction, the coil undergoes through the production of small electric currents to stimulate targeted regions of the brain. A stimulator (or pulse generator) is linked to the coil. The stimulator is used to deliver its electric current for stimulation.


TMS is usually utilized for measuring brain and muscle connection. This measure is used to evaluate damage from movement disorders, stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and motor neuron diseases. It is also used to measure the damage from the spinal cord and facial and cranial nerves.


What Are The Benefits Of TMS?

TMS is a non-invasive procedure used to treat depression. The only FDA-cleared and FDA-approved brand is NeuroStar TMS Therapy. Below are the benefits you can gain from using this system:

  •       It is an effective treatment for patients who do not satisfactorily respond to prior antidepressant medications.
  •       It has an impressive result in clinical trials. 50% of patients had major improvements with regards to their symptoms. Plus, 33.33% of clients experienced complete resolution of their symptoms.
  •       It doesn’t result to certain side effects common in other types of therapy. These side effects include nausea, dry mouth, sedation, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain. This leads to increased patient comfort and disposition. And it further provides significant patient improvement exponentially.
  •       It has a higher benefit/ risk ration in comparison to other alternatives (e.g. prescription medications).
  •       People who undergo the TMS system are associated with less use of drugs, doctor visits, and hospitalizations.
  •       It is a non-invasive procedure. Patients do not undergo anesthesia, surgery, or any type of sedation.
  •       TMS results to less magnetic exposure compared to patients who undergo MRI.


In Conclusion

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System is great for those who have clinical depression. The only side effect of this system is a mild discomfort in the scalp or area of the head stimulated by the coil. Seizures are rarely associated with patients using this therapy as well.


If you have a friend or a family member who experiences major debilitating depression, TMS can be an option. It is best to talk to your doctor (or any professional) in order to know the eligibility for TMS therapy. If you want to know more information regarding TMS therapy, contact us with any questions or to make an appointment.


An estimated 14.8 million Americans experience major depression. Not everyone can successfully recover from the illness using conventional antidepressant treatments.

Depression, and anxiety to another extent, makes the lives of those affected by it difficult to enjoy to the fullest. Relatives of those suffering from the illness often feel helpless as they look to their loved ones with sadness. If all other treatments have failed, then it’s time to explore the possibility of TMS therapy.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Cost

TMS cost is probably one the biggest mystery about this new therapy. The duration of the treatment varies for each patient, so does it costs.

Because of its groundbreaking methods and proven efficacy, TMS therapy isn’t always going to come cheap. Like other specialized treatments, the average TMS therapy can range from $8,000 to $10,000. But more luxurious clinics can cost even more. Then again, patients can see a remarkable improvement in their health thanks to TMS.

Undergoing TMS therapy can also cost more than money, as it has its own fair share of intangibles. These include time and effort in the part of the medical provider. Two of the most common are as follows:

  • Helping patients reach requirements for health insurance claims
  • Offering payment options to make TMS therapy affordable for everyone


Do health insurance companies cover TMS therapy cost?

When it comes to the cost of TMS therapy, it will eventually lead to the golden question of “Will health insurance cover it?” The answer will greatly vary. The health insurance industry is a dynamic platform where coverage and qualifications change from time to time.


Health Insurance Coverage

Today, many insurance companies create policies that cover TMS therapy. However, coverage and payments can vary depending on the patient’s specific health plan.  Not all health care plans cover behavioral treatment plans with TMS listed as an available procedure.  The best way to know is to contact the health insurance company to confirm their coverage, benefits, and eligibility for TMS.

Some insurance companies do not offer monetary payout for TMS therapy but changes in recent years make allowance for the treatment. Calling the insurance company may shed light on whether the they will cover the whole or partial cost of TMS treatment.

Before enrolling in the initial TMS therapy assessment, make sure to take note of these points:

  • Confirm with insurance for specific coverage details regarding TMS treatment
  • Ask whether they can cover the full amount of treatment
  • Check if the patient may need to pay the full amount before being reimbursed


Why Choose TMS Therapy?

Recent studies show the cost-effectiveness of TMS therapy versus conventional medications for treating depression. Patients display great improvement undergoing TMS therapy despite unsuccessful medicated attempts in the past.

About 85% of patients who failed using antidepressant medications will suffer a relapse within the next 10 years or so. Even though TMS treatment may initially cost more compared to medications, it still is economical for the patient in the long run.

Around 14.8 million adults in the US, 6.7% of the country’s total population, suffer from major depression at any given time. Sadly, antidepressants, medication, and psychotherapy don’t always work for everyone who takes them.


Traditional Depression Treatment

Researchers estimate 28% to 33% of people with major depression experience an improvement after treatment with an antidepressant.

There are several depression treatments that have been available for years, including:

  • Antidepressant drugs
  • Augmentation with second antidepressant medications
  • Psychotherapy
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Second-generation antipsychotics


However, in October 2008, the FDA approved a new depression treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy. This new approach can help patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) who don’t respond well to antidepressant drugs.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS is a simple non-invasive procedure that utilizes magnetic pulses. These magnetic fields help stimulate the nerve brain cells, improving depression symptoms. However, doctors usually only recommend using TMS when all other methods failed.


What happens during rTMS?

In a TMS therapy session, a TMS physician places an electromagnet coil on the patient’s scalp near the forehead or in the frontal lobe. The machine will then send out electromagnetic pulses from the scalp and into the nerve brain cells. The rapid succession of magnetic pulses treatment is called repetitive TMS or rTMS. It helps activate parts of the brain that have decreased activity, which in turn improves mood. Experts associate this inactive area of the brain with depression, and the magnetic pulses stimulate that region of the brain.  

This new method involves placing a helmet on the patient. This helmet sends the aforementioned electromagnetic pulses. To effectively treat depression, patients may need to undergo 5 sessions per week for 6 weeks. Each session takes about 40 minutes in the doctor’s office. Because treatment isn’t a major procedure, patients can resume their daily routine immediately after each session.


Undergoing Treatment

As good as it may seem, rTMS is not for everyone. The machine acts like an MRI machine and can cause damage to metal or any metallic-sensitive materials. rTMS may cause the materials to move, overheat, and even malfunction. Because of this, patients who have any of the following cannot undergo rTMS treatment:

  • Aneurysm coils
  • Bullet fragments located near the head
  • Deep brain stimulators
  • Electrodes used to monitor brain activity
  • Facial tattoos with metallic ink
  • Metallic implants
  • Other metal devices or object implanted in the body particularly in the near the head
  • Stents in the neck or brain


Further, rTMS doctors need to check the overall health condition of each patient. Some exams that the patient needs to pass include the following:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Physical exams & laboratory testing
  • Patients taking any medications like over-the-counter drugs and other supplements
  • People who may have coexisting mental disorder
  • Patients with a family history of seizures or epilepsy
  • Any brain damage suffered from injury or other illnesses
  • Severe episodes of headaches
  • other medical conditions


Still Needs Further Studies

Although the full concept of rTMS remains vague, the stimulation has proven to be an effective tool in easing depression symptoms. rTMS treatment may involve continuous treatment until the patient is symptom-free and researchers are optimistic that symptoms will rarely return.

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TMS of the Palm Beaches

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