About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Resistant Depression and OCD
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment used for cases of severe depression and OCD offered here at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems. This revolutionary approach uses magnetic stimulation of the brain to help improve mood.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008, TMS has been deemed helpful for those who cannot get significant relief from traditional approaches, such as antidepressant medications, or who have bad side effects from medications. It is also an alternative for those who choose not to take prescription medication to treat their depression.
How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment (TMS) Work?
TMS involves using focused magnetic pulses in stimulating the brain within the prefrontal cortex in a non-invasive manner. This is the region of the brain (in conjunction with areas deeper in the brain) that controls mood regulation. During your treatment, the clinician will place a magnetic coil against one side of your scalp. The magnetic fields can reach approximately one inch into the brain, resulting in brain-cell/nerve activation which releases neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters play a critical role in regulating mood. Because depression and OCD originate from an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, TMS can restore that balance and relieve symptoms of depression or OCD. Please note: TMS has recently been cleared for OCD treatment, although it is not yet paid for by insurance companies.
Benefits of TMS Treatment
No anesthesia or sedation is required with TMS, and patients are awake throughout the 20-minute procedure. Since there are no medications administered, patients do not experience systemic effects or memory loss; and, with no electrical current involved, neurological or cognitive complications are absent. Patients return to regular activity right away.
45% of Patients Remitting from Depression Symptoms Using NeuroStar® Technology for TMS Treatment
Many people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder have turned to Comprehensive MedPsych Systems; which uses NeuroStar® technology for treating TMS. 81% of our patients responded to NeuroStar TMS treatment, and 45% remitted from their long-term depression symptoms. Specifically, initial pre-treatment PHQ9 Depression scores averaged 20 (severe), with 27 being max. 81% decreased to at least nine (mild) or below (responders). 45% decreased to five or below (remitters). These results at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems are ABOVE the national average for treating long-term depression.
TMS Treatment Plan
The typical patient will receive about 36 treatments over the course of seven weeks, five days a week. The psychiatrist will take about an hour to make an initial assessment to determine the appropriate dose of the magnetic pulse and the precise area of the brain targeted. All follow-up treatment visits last about 20 minutes. The course of treatment will depend on the patient.
A typical visit has the patient sitting in a comfortable reclining chair with a headset which will apply the magnetic stimulation. Patients are encouraged to wear ear plugs so they are not bothered by the loud clicks of the magnetic pulses. They can even watch TV during treatment. The patient is monitored at all times to make sure the correct positioning is acquired and the desired comfort level is maintained.
What are the Risks and Side Effects With TMS?
There have been tens of thousands of treatments that have been safely performed during clinical trials, with patients reporting no side effects such as those found with antidepressant medication (weight gain, etc.). There has been no significant risk of seizures and no adverse cognitive side effects. The discomfort of the scalp is the most common side effect reported. TMS is not right for patients with implanted metallic devices or other implanted devices such as pacemakers.
Is TMS Treatment Covered by My Insurance?
TMS for depression is covered by Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare. However, there are strict criteria that may apply, with authorization needed before treatment is allowed. While treatment of OCD has been FDA cleared, insurance companies have not yet authorized payment for this diagnosis. Please speak to a TMS clinician at Comprehensive MedPsych Systems to learn more.
Comprehensive MedPsych Systems’ Behavioral Health Program
TMS is part of Comprehensive MedPsych Systems’ Comprehensive Behavioral Health Program, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with a broad range of psychiatric illnesses. Its collaborative team approach is designed to optimize the effectiveness of psychotherapy, psychosocial treatments, and medication management with state-of-the-art techniques, technologies, and interventions.
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