What is TMS Therapy?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment option for certain mental health conditions that uses a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. TMS Therapy is not to be confused with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly referred to as “shock therapy.” Let’s explore how TMS works, the mental health conditions it is approved to treat, the potential benefits and risks of TMS, and what to expect during a TMS treatment. We will also discuss alternative treatment options.
Is TMS Right For Me?
How TMS Works
TMS uses a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. After placing a coil directly above the patient’s head, a magnetic field is generated to stimulate the neurons in the targeted brain region. This process is non-invasive, painless, and highly localized, so it doesn’t affect the entire body system like oral medications and has few short-term side effects. There are no known long term side effects. Some soreness at the treatment site is the most common side effect, which usually subsides within a few hours. TMS consists of 30-36 treatment sessions, five days per week, over 6-7 weeks, each lasting about 3-20 minutes. Relief can be achieved around 70% of the time.
Indications for TMS Therapy
TMS is currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults who have not responded to at least one prior antidepressant medication and for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults. TMS Therapy for anxiety is also an option, as is TMS for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order for treatment to be covered by insurance, there are different requirements and prerequisites depending upon the carrier.
Benefits of TMS Therapy
TMS’s main benefits are that it is a safe, non-invasive treatment option, does not require medication, typically has no significant side effects, and has a high success rate of around 70%. TMS has a unique mechanism of action so it can work when other treatments have failed, helping people cope with depression, OCD, and other mental health disorders. Some people may experience mild to moderate discomfort during treatment, but this generally resolves immediately afterward.
Risks and Precautions
While TMS is generally considered a safe treatment option, there are some potential risks and precautions to consider. The most serious potential risk is the possibility of a seizure, which occurs in approximately 0.004% of people who receive TMS. The chance of this occurring is further diminished when patients disclose any significant changes to medication, substances, or other lifestyle changes made during the course of treatment with their technician, who can adjust their dose to account for such changes. Other possible side effects may include scalp discomfort, headache, and lightheadedness. Before starting treatment, you will discuss TMS’s potential risks and benefits with your KCLA Provider.
The TMS Process
If you and your KCLA Provider determine that TMS Therapy is an appropriate treatment option, you can expect to undergo a series of 30-36 treatment sessions. These sessions typically last anywhere from 3-20 minutes. Most patients opt for theta-burst, a 3-minute treatment session with more constant stimulation, than a longer 20-minute session with less frequent stimulation. This saves significant time over the course of treatment and produces the same therapeutic benefit. Our state-of-the-art facility provides treatments in a comfortable, beautiful space accompanied by light refreshments and a large 4k smart TV. During the treatment, your KCLA TMS Technician will gently position the TMS coil directly above your head while you sit in a comfortable recliner. You will be awake and alert during the treatment and able to communicate with the TMS Technician the entire time.
An accelerated protocol of 10 treatments over the course of 10 hours per day for five consecutive days has been established by Stanford University as the “Saint Protocol”. This accelerated treatment course has been proven highly effective, producing much more rapid results than conventional TMS treatment programs. The Saint Protocol is considered an off-label use for TMS and therefore is not currently covered by insurance.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Cost
KCLA now accepts some insurance. If you would like to use insurance to pay for treatment, each insurance network has policies on what criteria warrant coverage of your treatment. It is common for them to require that two or more conventional medications and classes of drugs have not benefited you before authorizing TMS Therapy. Most also require patients to engage in talk therapy first. Your carrier and the type of policy you have will impact your eligibility and out-of-pocket costs. Your KCLA Care Team will walk you through each step of the process with transparency so you can make an informed decision about whether TMS treatment is right for you.
Alternative treatment options for mental health conditions are available, including Ketamine Infusion Therapy, oral medications, talk therapy, and Spravato. Working with your KCLA Provider to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for your specific needs and goals is essential. TMS Therapy may be suitable for some people but may not be right for everyone.
TMS Therapy Near You
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment option for certain mental health conditions that uses a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. It is FDA-approved for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and is rapidly gaining FDA approval for other conditions. TMS Therapy can provide significant benefits for some people. Before starting treatment, the prospective patient will discuss all potential risks and benefits with their KCLA Provider. Alternative treatment options, such as Ketamine Infusion Therapy, medication, Spravato, and talk therapy, are also available.
To obtain further details on how TMS works or to learn about how to initiate the process, please call us now. You may also complete the contact form on this page.
Lauren – Mother of PTSD and depression patient
I saw my son once again.
Although all the medical treatment Matt has received was valuable in some way, the only time in 16 years I saw the person who is my son once again quietly emerge, was after the ketamine infusions.
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My successes have been phenomenal.
I have cut down on my Effexor to 75 Mg per day. I have eliminated lithium from my regiment and haven’t needed ambien for about month now to sleep. My klonopin I’ve reduced to once every other day. The infusions really helped my depression and chronic pain in my neck. My depression has never been better and I am cutting down on my other medications with great success. Thank you, thank you Dr. Mandel!
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When I found Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles,
When I found Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles and began to research the treatment, I felt my spirits lift. I felt hope. From the moment I called their office, I knew I was in good hands. As someone who works in healthcare, I couldn’t believe how kind and attentive Dr. Mandel and his entire staff were. I know they really care about me. The treatment is the only thing in more than 30 years that has produced such rapid and dramatic improvement in my mood.
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My doctor recommended that I try ketamine
My doctor recommended that I try ketamine at this time because he considers that there is now enough clinical information to make an informed decision about its effectiveness and side effects, and specifically recommended Dr. Mandel, who even with a glowing recommendation from someone for whom I have tremendous respect, vastly exceeded all of my expectations.
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Dr. Mandel has truly made my unlivable life, livable again.
Dr. Mandel has truly made my unlivable life, livable again. My ability to get out of bed early and or nearly right as I wake up has significantly improved. I’m able to keep up with my incredibly hectic schedule. My overall mood is high and lethargy is low. My social anxiety is at an all time low, and I haven’t had a panic attack since my first infusion.