Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a revolutionary depression treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate neural activity in areas of the brain responsible for mood regulation. It is a particularly helpful option for patients with complex, treatment resistant, or refractory depression, is safe and effective, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments or as a stand-alone option.
How does TMS treatment work?
During TMS treatment, magnetic pulses gently pass through the patient’s skull, stimulating neurons in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. fMRI imaging has revealed this area to be underactive in the brains of patients diagnosed with depression, as compared to their typical peers, and this region is known to play a key role in mood and emotional regulation.
TMS has been proven to be a highly effective treatment option, particularly for patients with chronic, treatment resistant depression who have not found adequate relief from antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.
Recent peer-reviewed studies showed that 70% of patients who underwent TMS experienced a significant reduction in symptoms, with 40% of those patients reporting no depressive symptoms at all once they completed treatment.
Is treatment FDA-approved?
TMS has been FDA approved to treat depression since 2008, and gained clearance for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 2018. In Europe, TMS is CE-approved to treat these disorders, in addition to several others.