We offer a unique opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about TMS Therapy and how it can be life-changing for those suffering from depression.
With TMS Therapy
During your Free TMS Consult, you will meet with a highly experienced TMS Therapy certified technician that has helped hundreds of patients beat depression. They will answer all your questions and review your specific situation to see if you are a good candidate for TMS Therapy.
You will not meet with Dr. Houser or Dr. Ownby during the appointment, but that can be arranged if TMS Therapy is determined to be the best next step in your battle with depression.
Depression is a serious medical illness that lasts two or more weeks and interferes with a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks and enjoyed activities that previously brought pleasure.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) maintains that “Depressive illness can often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have the disorder but to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person.”
In 2000, the economic burden of depression was estimated at $83.1 billion in the US and researchers estimate that by the year 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability worldwide.24,25 Depression can also be a lethal disease. Each year in the US, over 30,000 people die by suicide, 60% of whom suffer from depression.26
Depression is known to be hereditary so depression may occur in some individuals who have a particular genetic makeup that makes them more likely to develop depression. However, the exact nature of these genetic characteristics is not known. Other factors may contribute to an individual’s likelihood of experiencing depression. Some of these risk factors include:
Depression is often initially treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy) and antidepressant medications administered together. Although antidepressants can be effective for some patients, they do not work for everybody. Additionally, antidepressants often result in unwanted side effects.
More than 4 million patients do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressant medications and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them.10 For these patients, new depression treatments that involve the use of a medical device are available. These treatments include Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).
According to the standard diagnosis guide (DSM-IV-TR) published by the American Psychiatric Association, depression is diagnosed when an individual is experiencing either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure plus four or more of the following depression symptoms during the same two-week period:
If you feel you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms, contact your doctor and ask about your depression treatment options.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses short pulses of a magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. The pulsed magnetic field may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters levels. Treating depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation, also referred to as NeuroStar® TMS Therapy with this new therapy, provides a breakthrough depression treatment for those who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication.16,17
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy is a non-invasive treatment for depression and other mood disorders using an MRI-strength magnetic pulse to stimulate neurons in the brain.
TMS Therapy uses pulses of magnetic energy, precisely targeted at a critical area of the brain known to be underactive in depression sufferers. This area is called the prefrontal cortex.
By stimulating this local area, neurons in the prefrontal cortex communicate to deeper brain neurons causing a secondary effect on remaining areas of the brain involved in mood. These effects are intended to restore normal function and lift the symptoms of depression.
TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared proven no drug treatment for depression that is now available throughout the U.S. TMS Therapy is specifically for patients with depression who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication.
Many people with major depression who were treated with NeuroStar experienced significant benefits. In clinical trials, including a trial of patients receiving the new depression treatment with NeuroStar TMS as part of their medical care, after six weeks of treatment, 1 in 2 patients improved significantly, and 1 in 3 patients was completely free of depression symptoms.16
Efficacy was established in a controlled clinical trial comparing active treatment with the NeuroStar TMS Therapy® System to an inactive device. Patients treated with active NeuroStar TMS Therapy received an average reduction in their depression symptom score of 22.1% compared to a 9% average reduction in patients receiving inactive treatment.17
TMS Therapy is a safe and well-tolerated treatment with very few limitations. However, not all patients are appropriate candidates.
TMS Therapy may not be used for patients with implanted metallic devices or non-removable metallic objects in or around the head – this excludes dental fillings.
There may be other considerations that could prevent you from receiving TMS Therapy that your doctor will need to determine.
Because each person’s treatment needs are different and treatment is individualized, the length of a TMS Therapy course can vary. A usual course of treatment for depression involves ~20 minutes per session, five days a week for 4 to 6 weeks, although this can differ on a person’s response. You will receive a personalized treatment plan prior to starting TMS Therapy, and your progress will be monitored throughout the entire course of treatment.
TMS Therapy is recommended for 4 to 6 weeks based on how quickly a patient’s mood improves and remains stable. Not uncommonly, patients begin to experience results within the first two weeks.
Neuronetics, the company that developed Neurostar Therapy, recognizes the importance of patient access to NeuroStar TMS Therapy. TMS Therapy is widely covered at this time; however some insurance companies have issued coverage policies, and many are covering the treatments, by exception, on a case-by-case basis. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the initial consultation with a NeuroStar TMS Therapy doctor to see if this treatment is right for you.
We encourage you to consult with your insurance company regarding their willingness to cover NeuroStar TMS Therapy for you. To help with this process, we have a team devoted to providing general support regarding the reimbursement process. Learn more about our Insurance Coverage options.
The two procedures are very different. While both are effective in the treatment of depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability. During the TMS Therapy procedure, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire 37-minute procedure – no sedation is used with TMS Therapy. Patients can transport themselves to and from treatment. In over 10,000 active treatments with TMS Therapy in clinical trials, no seizures were observed. TMS Therapy was also shown to have no negative effects on memory function in these studies.
In contrast, “shock therapy,” or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), intentionally causes a seizure. Patients receiving ECT must be sedated with general anesthesia and paralyzed with muscle relaxants. Recovery from an ECT treatment session occurs slowly, and patients are usually closely monitored for minutes or a few hours after treatment.
Short-term confusion and memory loss are common, and long-term disruptions in memory have been shown to occur and may persist indefinitely in some people. Because of the side effects associated with ECT, a significant amount of caregiver support is required.
During treatment, patients recline comfortably and are awake and alert throughout the TMS Therapy session. No anesthesia or sedation is needed. Treatment involves placement of the magnetic coil against the patient’s head. Patients will hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on their head during treatment.
Each TMS Therapy session takes ~20 minutes to complete and is conducted right in the doctor’s office, five days a week, for approximately four to six weeks. After treatment each day, patients can immediately return to normal activities.
The most common side effect associated with TMS Therapy is pain or discomfort during treatment at or near the treatment area. This pain or discomfort is generally mild to moderate and typically diminishes after the first week of treatment.
In clinical trials, less than 5% of patients discontinued NeuroStar treatment due to side effects. NeuroStar treatment also showed no negative effects on thinking or memory.
Because NeuroStar TMS Therapy acts directly on the prefrontal cortex, it lacks the systemic side effects experienced with antidepressant medication.
There is a rare risk of seizure associated with TMS Therapy. The risk of seizure in general clinical use is 1 in 30,000 treatments.