What Is TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)?
TMS Therapy is a form of mental health treatment that utilizes magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain which function at subdued levels when someone is struggling with smoking addiction, OCD, or depression.
Is TMS Painful or Invasive?
TMS Therapy is actually entirely non-invasive and painless.
TMS machines used to be unwieldy, loud, and a bit intimidating. TMS and MRI machines are actually a bit similar in how they work. Just as MRI machines let out large snaps, TMS devices would make an incredibly loud snapping noise while producing the magnetic pulse.
Recent technological advances have allowed for TMS technology to fit into a machine no larger than a common ultrasound machine, with many devices themselves being no larger than a 10-gallon hat, and snaps that aren’t nearly as loud as they were in the past.
How Do TMS Devices Target Areas of the Brain?
TMS devices create their magnetic pulses through magnetic fields. Within devices are networks of coils in different shapes and arrangements to best target the area of the brain affected by the mental illness being treated. It actually looks pretty interesting when you peel back the hood.
Luckily, as the outline displays above they are contained within a comfortable and easy-to-wear device.
How Does TMS Therapy Work?
TMS Therapy is done over the course of a number of sessions. Usually several times a week for 4 to 6 weeks. It is best done in unison with additional forms of therapy which differ based on a client’s individual needs.
Typically upon initial consultation, a patient will have the TMS device calibrated to their specific physiology. Once the initial tests are run, the patient only has to set and relax while the device produces magnetic pulses above.
How Long Does TMS Therapy Last?
A normal session of TMS therapy usually lasts about 45 minutes. How many sessions each patient will need varies from person to person and is determined through individualized treatment plans.
What Can TMS Therapy Treat?
Adaviata Integrated Medicine currently only uses TMS to treat, treatment-resistant depression.
But that is only a small fraction of what TMS Therapy has been cleared by the FDA to treat. Currently, BrainsWay, the company behind the TMS device to be used by AIM has devices cleared by the FDA to treat:
- Treatment-Resistant Depression
- Smoking Addiction
- Anxious Depression
Coming Soon To AIM…
Can TMS Treat Depression and Anxiety?
In an amazing study, it was shown that deep TMS therapy helped those suffering from treatment-resistant depression find remission at almost twice the rate of placebo trials.
TMS is an excellent tool used in unison with clinical therapy, and also provides an opportunity to move away from similar but more archaic treatment methods such as ECT.
In clinical studies around anxiety, it was shown that those suffering from depression, also saw a 40% average decrease in anxiety when their depression was treated through TMS. Which was a significantly better performance than those who only treated their anxiety with medication.
Can TMS Treat OCD?
OCD has a very limited path for treatment currently. The only existing medications approved by the FDA require very high doses, have limited efficacy, and come with detrimental side effects.
Luckily in 2018, the FDA cleared the BrainsWay TMS device for use in treating OCD, and as more data is collected, TMS’s potential to treat many forms of OCD is becoming ever more clear.
When Deep TMS Therapy was used, patients reported experiencing relief from OCD symptoms at a rate that is 200% higher than that of placebo trials.
Can TMS Treat Smoking Addiction?
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things many people will have to go through in their lives. Currently, most mental health care providers are underprepared to help those ready to stop their smoking addiction.
Treatment methods range from medication with severe side effects like Chantix, or underperforming treatment types such as talk therapy or nicotine replacement options. In 2020, the FDA finally cleared TMS as a treatment method for smoking addiction.
The results were clear and obvious. Not only did TMS participants see a larger reduction in cigarettes smoked a day, but they also reported a higher overall success rate after the trial concluded.
Are There Risks With TMS?
TMS requires no surgery or implantation of a device and is considered extremely low risk. That being said, anyone with metal implanted in their head, or body that is susceptible to magnetic interference commonly cannot undergo TMS Therapy.