How Many TMS Treatments are Needed for Lasting Results?

What is TMS? How many TMS treatments are needed for lasting results? Get answers and more information at Advaita Integrated Medicine.

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TMS Therapy: The Basics

If you suffer from depression or other mental health conditions, you may have heard of TMS therapy. But what is TMS therapy? How many TMS treatments are needed to see lasting results? In this article, we will answer these questions and compare TMS therapy to other major therapies. We will also detail a typical TMS session so you know what to expect.

How Many TMS Treatments are Needed

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What is TMS?

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It focuses on areas that are involved in mood regulation and other cognitive functions. By activating these nerve cells, TMS therapy may improve symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders.1

TMS therapy is mainly used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). It is used when other treatments, such as antidepressants or psychotherapy, have failed or caused intolerable side effects. However, it may also be helpful for other conditions like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic pain, migraines, tinnitus, and stroke recovery.2

How Many TMS Treatments are Needed for Lasting Results, and Why?

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 Long Until Improvements are Noticeable?

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 Does TMS Compare to Other Major Therapies?

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.

TMS Limitations

TMS also has some limitations compared to other therapies. For example, some people may not respond to this type of treatment. It also requires frequent visits to a clinic and can be expensive if not covered by insurance.

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.

What Happens During a typical TMS Session?

How many TMS treatments are needed until you’re comfortable? Understanding what a session will look like will help you enter treatment comfortable with the process. The steps of a typical TMS therapy session are detailed below.3

Prior to Starting the Session

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.

During the Session

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.

What You’ll Feel

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.

Length of TMS Sessions

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

After the session, you can resume your normal activities such as driving, working, or studying. There is no recovery time needed after TMS therapy

How Many TMS Treatments are Needed to be Effective?

How many TMS treatments are needed to be effective? TMS therapy is effective for many people who suffer from depression and other mental health conditions. According to a meta-analysis of 81 studies involving more than 4,000 patients with MDD, TMS therapy significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to placebo treatment. TMS therapy had a higher remission rate (complete recovery) than sham treatment (17.3% vs 9.8%).4

Another meta-analysis found that TMS therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic pain, and tinnitus compared to sham treatment.

Long-Term Effectiveness

How many TMS treatments are needed to see long-term benefits? TMS therapy may also have long-term benefits. A study of 257 patients with MDD who completed an acute course of TMS therapy followed by six months of maintenance sessions found that 62.7% maintained their response and 45.1% maintained their remission at one-year follow-up. Another study found that 68% maintained their response and 45% maintained their remission at three years of follow-ups.4
How Many Tms Treatments are Needed

How Many TMS Treatments are Needed at Advaita Integrated Medicine?

If you are interested in how many TMS treatments are needed for your condition, Advaita Integrated Medicine is here to help.

Our Mission

At Advaita Integrated Medicine (AIM), we specialize in treating a variety of mental health conditions. We aim to treat the whole person, so we create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to make sure you feel safe and supported in your recovery journey. We offer a variety of treatment options, including TMS, talk therapy, group and individual sessions, and more holistic approaches. These include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness training.

Contact AIM Today

How many TMS treatments are needed for you? We can help you figure this out and get you the help you need. Reach out to Advaita Integrated Medicine today for more information about TMS therapy and our other available treatment options. We will be with you every step of the way.

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