Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation FAQ's

 How does TMS work?

The Neurostar system uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate the area of the brain that is thought to function abnormally in patients who suffer from depression. An electronic current is created by the magnetic field, which stimulates the brain cells.

 

Insurances Covered

Neurostar TMS is covered by many commercial and Medicare plans. Please click here to see if your insurance qualifies.

 

Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects associated with antidepressant medications?

NeuroStar does not have side effects such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc. The most common side effects reported during clinical trials were headache and scalp discomfort – generally mild to moderate.

 

Is TMS Therapy uncomfortable?

No, the most frequent side effect associated to treatment is scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect has been reported to decrease after the first week of treatment.

You can treat the scalp discomfort with over-the-counter medicine. If the side effects continue, your physician can temporarily reduce the strength of magnetic field pulses being used.

 

Is TMS Therapy like other alternative therapies, which use magnets to treat some illnesses?

No. TMS Therapy involves a unique method of using pulsed magnetic fields for therapeutic benefit. The intensity of the magnetic field is similar to that of the magnetic fields being used in a MRI. These techniques differ radically from the popular use of low intensity, static magnetic fields.

 

 

Is TMS Therapy like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)?

No, the two procedures are very different. While both are effective in the treatment of depression, there are many differences in safety and tolerability.

During TMS Therapy, patients sit in a chair and are awake and alert throughout the entire 19-37 minute procedure – no sedation is used with TMS Therapy. Patients can transport themselves to and from treatment.

In over 10,000 active treatments with the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system in clinical trials, no seizures were observed. TMS Therapy was also shown to have no negative effects on memory function in these studies.

In contrast, “shock therapy,” or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), intentionally causes a seizure. Patients receiving ECT must be sedated with general anesthesia and paralyzed with muscle relaxants. Recovery from an ECT treatment session occurs slowly, and patients are usually closely monitored for minutes or even a few hours after treatment.

Short-term confusion and memory loss are common with ECT, and long-term disruptions in memory have been shown to occur and may persist indefinitely in some people. Because of the side effects associated with ECT, a significant amount of caregiver support is required.

 

What is a typical course of treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy?

A typical course of TMS Therapy is five times per week for 19-37 minutes sessions, depending on what the doctor determines is the correct protocol, over four to six weeks.

Any additional treatments are based on clinical judgment.

 

What are the potential risks of NeuroStar TMS Therapy?

NeuroStar TMS Therapy has been shown to be well tolerated and the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system has been demonstrated to be safe in clinical trials. Throughout over 10,000 active treatments performed in clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effect related to treatment was scalp discomfort during treatment sessions. This side effect was generally mild to moderate, and occurred less frequently after the first week of treatment. Less than 5% of patients treated with NeuroStar TMS Therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.

In NeuroStar clinical trials, over 10,000 TMS treatments demonstrated its safety, with no occurrence of seizures. However, there is a small risk of a seizure occurring during treatment. This risk is no greater than what has been observed with oral antidepressant medications.

While NeuroStar TMS Therapy has been demonstrated to be effective, not all patients will benefit from it. Patients should be carefully monitored for worsening symptoms, signs or symptoms of suicidal behavior, and/or unusual behavior. Families and caregivers should also be aware of the need to observe patients and notify their treatment provider if symptoms worsen.

 

Can NeuroStar TMS Therapy cause brain tumors?

No, NeuroStar TMS Therapy uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause tumors. The magnetic energy used in a full course of TMS Therapy is a small fraction of just one brain scan with an MRI.

Does TMS Therapy cause memory loss?

No, the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system was systematically evaluated for its effects on memory. Clinical trials demonstrated that NeuroStar TMS Therapy does not result in any negative effects on memory or concentration.

 

How long does the antidepressant effect last? Will I need any therapy beyond the first treatment regimen?

NeuroStar TMS is the only TMS system with the durability of its effects established over 12 months. In a clinical trial, two out of three patients who had either responded to treatment or completely remitted their depression symptoms reported 12 months later that they remained at the level they were at the end of the trial. Additionally, after the trial, only one in three patients needed to return for ‘maintenance’ TMS sessions.

 

Can I also take antidepressant(s) if I am receiving NeuroStar TMS Therapy?

Yes. In clinical trials, NeuroStar TMS Therapy was safely administered with and without other antidepressant medications.

 

Does FDA-clearance of the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system mean that all TMS devices are cleared for use in major depression within the United States?

No, the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system is the first TMS device to be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of major depression.

The NeuroStar TMS Therapy system is also the first TMS device to have been evaluated in a large, multicenter, controlled clinical trial, as well as the only TMS system with the durability of its effects over 12 months established.

To schedule a TMS consultation call 1-833-TMSCCHW or (1-833-867-2249)

or

To learn more about NeuroStar TMS Advanced Therapy click here

© 2019 Charak Center for Health and Wellness. All Rights Reserved.