TMS therapy involves painless and relaxing 30 minute appointments to treat depression
A TMS therapy treatment session is a brief outpatient procedure. During treatment you will be carefully attended and under the supervision of our TMS specialist staff and Medical Director.
During treatment, you can relax in the treatment chair and speak with the system operator whenever necessary. Or, you may read, watch movies or listen to music.
A typical course of TMS treatment consists of five treatments per week over six weeks, each treatment lasting 30 minutes.
Following successful treatment, maintenance sessions to reinforce your progress may be recommended for the next several months. Some patients have found that few or even no maintenance treatments have been necessary.
Since being founded in 2011, The Southern Colorado TMS Center has partnered with three of the leading technology companies in transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy – Neuronetics, Brainsway, and Mag Vita. As new devices become available, we select the technology that we believe can best help you.
Your First Treatment Session
At your first appointment, your psychiatrist needs to determine how to most effectively administer TMS treatment, so your first session could last up to an hour and a half.
You will be provided with protective earplugs that you may wear, as the system emits a clicking sound during operation.
Your doctor will then perform a test to identify your motor threshold. This is the amount of magnetic field strength at a specific location that results in a movement of your right thumb.
This test identifies the magnetic field strength to be used in your treatment, which is customized for each patient to deliver the correct treatment dose.
After the motor threshold test, your psychiatrist will then determine the place on the head where the TMS treatment will be applied.
The treatment coil will be moved to that location. This will allow you to receive optimal treatment.
Start TMS Therapy
We will then administer TMS therapy over a 30 minute period.
In 20 second intervals, the device will deliver rapid pulses of the magnetic field. This will feel like tapping on your scalp. Some patients may find this tapping slightly uncomfortable at first but we have found that this quickly passes. Over the counter analgesics can be used, if needed.
After Your Treatment
Return To Your Daily Routine
Immediately following each treatment session, you may return to your normal daily routine, including driving. During or after treatment you may experience headache or discomfort at the site of stimulation. These are common side effects which often lessen as further treatment sessions are administered. If necessary, you can treat this discomfort with an over-the-counter analgesic. If these side effects persist, your doctor can temporarily reduce the strength of the magnetic field being administered in order to make treatment more comfortable.
In clinical trials, most patients begin to see improvement within two to four weeks of treatment. Some patients may experience results in less time, while others may take longer. FDA trials (2008) found that about one out of three of TMS patients achieve remission (90%-100% improvement), one out of three achieve between 50% and 90% improvement and the rest from 0 to 49% improvement. Our results are somewhat better: one out of two achieve remission.
You will have opportunity to review your progress throughout the treatment. If symptoms persist we will propose modifications or additions to your TMS treatment which often contribute to improved results.