How many TMS treatments are needed for lasting results? This depends. The number of sessions needed for lasting results is influenced by several factors. These include the severity of symptoms, response to treatment, brain chemistry, and maintenance plan.
However, a typical course of TMS therapy consists of 20 to 30 sessions over four to six weeks. Each session lasts about 20 to 40 minutes depending on the type and intensity of stimulation.
How many TMS treatments are needed to start feeling better? Most people start seeing results after two to four weeks of treatment. Some people may need more sessions or a higher intensity of stimulation to achieve optimal results. Your doctor will track your progress and adjust your treatment plan accordingly.
After completing the initial course of treatment, you may need periodic maintenance sessions to prevent relapse or recurrence of your symptoms. The frequency and duration of maintenance sessions vary depending on your individual needs. Some people may need weekly or monthly sessions while others may only need them every few months or years.
How many TMS treatments are needed compared to other therapies? TMS therapy has some advantages over other major therapies such as medication or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Unlike medication, TMS does not cause systemic side effects like weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, or drowsiness. It also does not interact with other drugs or substances.
Unlike ECT, TMS does not require anesthesia or hospitalization. It also does not cause memory loss or cognitive impairment.
Additionally, TMS can cause some mild to moderate side effects. These include scalp discomfort, headache, tingling, muscle twitching, lightheadedness, or hearing problems during or after the session. These are usually temporary and subside within hours or days. It is important to consult with your doctor before starting TMS therapy and weigh the benefits and risks of each treatment option.
You will sit comfortably in a reclining chair. You will be asked to remove any metal objects or devices such as jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, or pacemakers. You’ll be given earplugs to protect your hearing from the clicking sounds produced by the coil.
The technician will position a small magnetic coil against your scalp, near the area of the brain that’s responsible for regulating mood and emotions. The technician will also place a small device on your forehead to monitor your brain’s activity during the treatment.
Your doctor will determine the best location and intensity of stimulation for you by performing a test called motor threshold (MT). This involves finding the lowest level of stimulation that causes a slight movement in your hand or fingers. This helps ensure that you receive the most effective and safe dose of stimulation.
Once your MT is established, your doctor will start delivering repetitive magnetic pulses to your brain at a frequency and duration that is tailored to your condition and goals. The TMS machine will emit a series of magnetic pulses that stimulate the neurons in your brain. You’ll hear a tapping sound and feel a mild tapping sensation against your scalp. The pulses will be delivered in a series of rapid bursts, with each burst lasting a few seconds.
You may feel a tapping sensation on your scalp or forehead during the stimulation. You may also experience some mild discomfort, headache, tingling, muscle twitching, or lightheadedness during or after the session. These side effects are usually temporary and subside within hours or days.
Most TMS therapy sessions last between thirty and sixty minutes. During this time, you’ll be able to relax. You can listen to music or watch TV. You’ll also be able to talk to the technician if you have any questions or concerns.
After the session, you can resume your normal activities such as driving, working, or studying. There is no recovery time needed after TMS therapy.