This technology was developed in 1985 and in 1996 researchers began exploring its potential for treating depression. It was FDA approved in 2008 for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, then endorsed as a significant treatment option by the American Psychiatric Association in 2010, and in 2022 the American Psychiatric Association recommended that TMS therapy be considered 1st line treatment for moderate to severe depression.
The Science Behind TMS
TMS utilizes magnetic pulses to trigger long-term changes—at least 24 months of relief. This type of stimulation enhances the brain’s ability to change itself, known as “neuroplasticity” or “rewire” of the brain circuitry, helping to restore the brain’s normal function. While TMS is FDA-approved for depression and OCD, it is also commonly used as a safe and effective treatment for a number of other conditions such as anxiety, PTSD, addiction, bipolar depression, anorexia and bulimia, perinatal and postpartum depression, insomnia, chronic neuropathic pain, and certain other conditions.
TMS can and should be considered the first-line treatment for moderate to severe major depressive disorder, even though it can be used for much more than depression and OCD. Traditionally, medications have been the go-to option for many disorders, but what if you don’t want to take more medications or you want to wean yourself from the pharmaceuticals you’re already taking? Many people don’t think there are alternatives to medication-based therapies, but there are. TMS has been around for a long time, but many people—including physicians and clinicians—are unfamiliar with it.
At the TMS Institute we support evidence-based medicine. Every treatment we offer is based on protocols established and published in clinical trials. The goal with TMS therapy is to improve your overall well-being in a more natural way. This is not electroconvulsive shock therapy—it is non-invasive and comfortable, using painless electromagnetic pulses rather than “shocks.” TMS assists the brain, allowing it to function at a higher level by increasing activity in key areas while also creating new pathways of communications with other brain regions. In turn, we can target the root cause of the issue at the brain level, thus actually helping to improve longevity by correcting the issue rather than treating just the symptoms (which is what medications oftentimes accomplish).
TMS has many benefits over medications, but can also be used in conjunction with pharmaceuticals. It is safe, very effective, has no systemic side effects, and is medication-free. For many patients, TMS is an alternative to antidepressants. No anesthesia or downtime are needed. In-office appointments are relatively quick and convenient. TMS is covered by some insurance policies for treatment of both depression and OCD. It also offers a high success rate. On average, patients enjoy a 68 percent success rate with TMS versus just 37.5 percent with medication. Enjoy long-term results for a minimum of two years with the treatment that is FDA-approved for depression, OCD, bipolar depression, and smoking cessation.