How to Get Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in New Jersey
If you’ve tried antidepressant medications and other treatment methods without results, your doctor may consider referring you to receive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
TMS is an FDA-approved alternative for those who do not respond to antidepressants or are intolerant of them. It’s a noninvasive treatment that stimulates the brain directly to improve depression symptoms and has no side effects.
What is TMS?
TMS therapy is a noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to influence your brain’s natural electrical activity. It was first developed in 1985, and it has seen widespread use for a variety of mental health and brain-related conditions.
TMS can be used for depression, anxiety disorders, and even pain conditions like fibromyalgia. It has also been shown to improve symptoms of schizophrenia and improve motor function in people who have had a stroke.
The first thing you’ll need to do is schedule an appointment with a qualified TMS provider. They’ll ask you to fill out a patient history form and discuss any medications or other treatments that you may be taking.
You’ll also need to be prepared to remove anything that contains metal, such as jewelry or eyeglasses. You can also wear earplugs to minimize the clicking sound of the coil.
Once you’re in the treatment room, the technician will start by turning on a coil that generates stimulating impulses. This will produce a clicking sound that lasts for 20 to 40 minutes.
During this time, you can rest comfortably in a reclining chair. If your doctor recommends that you wear earplugs, they’ll provide them.
Your doctor will then place a special device on the top of your head, which contains a coil that delivers electric pulses to the brain. The coil is designed to target areas of the brain that are responsible for depression and other brain-related symptoms.
Some patients are able to get their depression under control with just one TMS session. Others need multiple sessions spread out over several weeks.
In New Jersey, TMS is covered by insurance if you’ve tried medication and talk therapy to treat your depression but haven’t been successful. You should talk with your psychiatrist or healthcare provider about whether TMS is right for you.
TMS works for many different types of depression, but it can be especially effective for mild or moderate depression that doesn’t respond to traditional antidepressants. In fact, many patients who get TMS experience lasting relief from their depression symptoms and never need to take any prescription medications for it again.
How Does TMS Work?
TMS is a way of sending electrical pulses into your brain using a magnetic coil that’s held over your head. During treatment, you’ll sit in a comfortable chair and be monitored by a trained technician.
TMS is used for a variety of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. It’s an effective non-drug treatment and works cooperatively with other treatments, such as medication and behavioral therapy.
To get TMS, you’ll need to schedule a series of sessions in the doctor’s office or clinic. Those sessions can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour, depending on your symptoms and the type of TMS you’re getting.
Before the sessions, you’ll need to remove anything that could be sensitive to magnets, like jewelry. You might also want to wear earplugs to reduce the clicking sound of the magnetic impulses.
During the session, your technician will set up the magnet and determine which strength of pulses to send into your brain. After finding the right strength, they’ll start delivering pulses in a particular pattern. Each pulse is short, usually one or two seconds, and you’ll hear a click as the magnet switches on and off.
Some pauses between the pulses give the magnet time to cool down. You’ll also feel a slight sensation of heat in your head or face during the treatment, but these symptoms are mild and last only a few minutes.
Another factor that affects how TMS works is the “current orientation” of the magnetic field induced by the coil. This explains why certain areas of the cortex are more likely to be affected by TMS than others. It’s also why a single pulse may have different effects when applied to different regions of the brain.
The direction of the induced current in the brain can have a profound impact on the efficacy of TMS. Studies have shown that the direction of TMS-induced tissue currents can change how neuronal populations in certain regions of the cortex respond to a given stimulus (Hill et al., 2000). The direction of the current is also associated with the number of axons that are stimulated by the TMS pulse.
What are the Side Effects of TMS?
TMS is a safe, non-invasive treatment for depression and other mental health disorders. It works well for patients who have tried and failed to treat their depression with medication or talk therapy (psychotherapy).
The TMS system sends a magnetic field through an electromagnetic coil. This magnetic field is directed to specific areas of the brain that help regulate mood and behavior. The magnetic field is not powerful enough to affect the entire brain, but it can be targeted to a small area of the left side of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for mood regulation.
After finding the right pulse strength for you, your doctor will deliver a series of magnetic pulses with a specific pattern. You may hear clicking sounds during the treatment, which is normal and a good sign that the magnetic field pulses are working. You can also feel a light tapping on your head with each magnetic field pulse.
Some patients experience head or scalp discomfort during the TMS session, but this usually goes away after a few treatments. If you are having severe pain or irritation, it is important to tell your provider about these symptoms as soon as possible so the TMS treatment can be adjusted.
Patients who have a severe headache during or after a TMS session may be able to take over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain and discomfort. However, this is not a common side effect of TMS.
Other side effects that have been reported with TMS include irritation to the scalp, which is a common concern for many patients. The irritation tends to go away after a few weeks or months, but you can report it to your medical professional if it becomes worse.
You may also have some mild twitching of the eyelids or jaw during a TMS treatment, but this is generally only temporary and does not last long. You will have to wait a few minutes before leaving the room, but you can go to work or school during this time.
The most common side effects of TMS are headaches and scalp irritation, which are both common and often resolve with over-the-counter pain medication. The most severe side effect is seizures, which are extremely rare. This is because a person’s risk of seizures is always monitored and measured to ensure they do not occur.
How Does TMS Work for Depression?
TMS is a non-invasive treatment that stimulates the brain to improve mood and reduce depression symptoms. It works by applying magnetic pulses to areas of the brain that are responsible for regulating mood and feelings of hopelessness or depression.
The exact mechanism of how TMS works isn’t fully understood, but it is believed that the stimulation of certain areas of the brain with magnetic pulses can alter how nerve cells in these regions respond to certain stimuli. This may be beneficial in treating depression as it can increase the activity in these areas and help to alleviate symptoms such as low energy, sleep disturbances, and appetite changes.
To do this, TMS uses a device that sends a small amount of electricity to the brain using a coil that’s placed over the scalp and skull. The coils are connected to a computer that monitors the pulses and adjusts them accordingly to get the best results.
During the procedure, the individual is positioned in a comfortable chair while the coils are applied to the area that needs treatment. Once the magnet is in place, a trained healthcare professional will use the coil to send the electromagnetic waves to the brain. Depending on the type of coil that is used, each session may take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.
While TMS is primarily used to treat depression, it has also been shown to be helpful for other conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic pain. Studies have found that TMS can help people with these conditions to manage their symptoms by stimulating the motor cortex, a part of the brain that regulates movement.
TMS is often prescribed as an alternative to antidepressants and talk therapy for people who don’t have good responses to these treatments. Approximately 30 percent of people with depression don’t respond to medication and psychotherapy, which is known as treatment-resistant depression.
When people do respond to TMS, they find that it’s easier to deal with their depressive symptoms and that their overall mental state is improved. This can lead to them wanting to continue TMS treatment as a maintenance strategy, especially when they have depression relapses.