What is TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment that uses repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression.
During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp. The electromagnet pulse stimulates nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control and depression.¹
TMS Therapy is typically used when other depression treatments haven’t been effective.

Is TMS covered by my insurance?

TMS is covered by most insurance providers including Medicare (and by Medicaid in some states). Prior authorization is typically required for insurance coverage. Your physician will manage this process. Typically, treatment with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy may be needed before insurance will authorize TMS Therapy.

Who can get TMS treatment?

TMS Therapy is indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.  

Are there any side effects to TMS Therapy?

TMS has few known side effects. The most common side effects are mild scalp discomfort or headaches during treatment, but normal activities can typically be resumed immediately after treatment.

What does TMS feel like?

The magnetic coil which delivers TMS is positioned on the head. You will hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on your head when the magnetic pulses are delivered. Many patients watch television or read during treatment.

How long will it take for the treatment to work?

This will vary from person to person.
It is commonly reported that patients need 30 to 36 sessions of TMS to feel relief from their depression symptoms. In clinical trials, approximately 58% of treatment-resistant patients responded positively to rTMS therapy.

Is TMS safe?

TMS has over two decades of clinical and scientific research supporting its safe use and application. FDA-cleared for the treatment of MDD,  TMS Therapy is an effective, non-invasive, outpatient treatment, with few known side effects.

Who is not a candidate for TMS?

TMS Therapy is well tolerated for most. However, not all patients are appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. 
For example, patients with a history of seizures or who have metal implants or objects in or near their head are not appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. To determine if TMS Therapy may be right for you, your supervising doctor or psychiatrist will carefully screen for the presence of medical conditions or metal objects which may make TMS unsuitable.

What is the success rate of TMS?

On average, three out of four TMS patients with major depression experience powerful positive effects from TMS, and of those patients, about half experience a complete remission of their symptoms for up to a year after just one course of treatment!