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Treating Depression with TMS

Does it work?

Numerous large clinical trials have shown an antidepressant effect of rTMS and it has been steadily growing in its use since the first TMS device was FDA-cleared for the treatment of depression in 2008. 

What are the treatments like?

rTMS is an outpatient procedure that the patient stays awake for.  It does not require any medications or sedation. rTMS is administered by a trained technician under the supervision of a physician.  The treatment sessions last about 40 minutes and occur 5 days per week for 4 – 6 weeks.  The patient can relax and read or talk to the technician during the treatment.  TMS is covered by most insurance policies. 

Are there side effects? 

Generally the TMS sessions are well tolerated.  Patients will feel a tingling or tapping sensation on their head from the TMS.  Occasionally patients will experience a headache that typically resolves when the treatment is over. More serious side effects are rare and can be discussed during your evaluation.