Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) FAQ

What is TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses targeted magnetic fields to stimulate underactive nerve cells in the brain that are connected to depression and PTSD.

KMG Psychiatry uses NeuroStar TMS technology to help patients achieve remission from depression or PTSD when other treatments, such as medication, fail to provide lasting relief.

How does TMS work?

During a TMS session, you sit in a comfortable chair and remain fully awake as KMG Psychiatry lightly places a small, curved magnetic coil on your head. As you relax, NeuroStar delivers targeted magnetic energy to stimulate underactive cells in your brain.

While you may hear a light clicking sound throughout the procedure, TMS is never painful or uncomfortable. The procedure itself takes between 19 and 37 minutes on average, though times may vary depending on your individualized treatment plan.

Most NeuroStar TMS treatments are administered five days a week for approximately four to six weeks, but Dr. Bindal can determine the right plan for you.

Does TMS have side effects?

Compared to alternative depression and PTSD treatments, TMS has very few side effects. Unlike vagus nerve stimulation or deep brain stimulation, TMS doesn’t require surgery or an implant to work. It also doesn’t require anesthesia or cause serious side effects, such as seizures, like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).Some of the most common TMS side effects include:

• Headaches
• Lightheadedness
• Facial muscle spasms
• Tingling in the face
• Scalp pain

In rare cases, TMS can cause hearing loss if you have inadequate ear protection, seizures, and mania if you suffer from bipolar disorder.
Because TMS is safe and effective, you can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment.

What can I expect from TMS?

Compared to antidepressants, which take about six weeks to start working, TMS can begin improving your symptoms of depression or PTSD within one week. Many patients report feeling that their mood improved after just a few sessions.
Unlike medication, you don’t need to continue TMS after your initial four- to six-week treatment. While some patients do return toKMG Psychiatry for maintenance sessions, most people find relief from their symptoms for at least one year after their first treatment.
For more information on TMS and its benefits, call KMG Psychiatry or book an appointment online today.
* Individual results may vary