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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

How Successful Is TMS?

TMS therapy, which stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy, is a therapeutic method that uses magnetic fields in order to stimulate nerve cells inside the brain to improve symptoms caused by depression or anxiety. This type of therapy is typically only used when other means of treating depression or anxiety aren’t effective.

How Does TMS Work?

Prior to engaging in TMS therapy many patients want to know exactly how it works.
Typically, an electromagnetic coil is pressed to the scalp closer to the forehead. This electromagnetic pulse delivers a pulse that while painless works to stimulate nerve cells that directly affect mood control. TMS therapy is painless and is supposed to activate parts of the brain that have decreased activity due to depression or anxiety. Activating these parts of the brain has been said to improve mood in those suffering from depression or anxiety.

Possible Risks & Side Effects

While TMS therapy is relatively safe and because it is non-invasive there are minimal risks and side effects. Common side effects of TMS typically include headache, scalp discomfort in the area that was stimulated, tingling or twitching of facial muscles, and possible lightheadedness. If you do experience any of these side effects, your doctor will likely adjust the level of stimulation or have you take a standard pain reliever such as Ibuprofen.

Serious side effects are rare with TMS therapy, but it is important to know what to look for just in case. These side effects include seizure, mania in the case of someone with bipolar disorder, or hearing loss if your hearing isn’t protected during the procedure. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Results Of TMS Therapy

According to tmsbrainhealth.com “most TMS providers find that TMS has a success rate at between 70%-80%, meaning that the vast majority of individuals find significant relief after the treatment.” These statistics show that for the majority of patients, TMS therapy is successful in either improving symptoms of depression or anxiety or relieving symptoms altogether. If your symptoms do improve, you should still discuss with your doctor whether or not ongoing, repetitive TMS therapy treatments are needed. Typically your doctor may also recommend common treatments for
depression such as medication or psychotherapy to keep your depression or anxiety at bay. Riverview Community Mental Health Center is well-known for its successful TMS treatment in ME.

If you are interested in TMS therapy and how it can help you, be sure to ask your doctor to see if this could be a good fit for treating your depression or anxiety.

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