TMS THERAPY FOR DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
Sometimes traditional antidepressants don’t work, or they come with side effects that worsen your symptoms rather than alleviate them. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved treatment that awakens parts of the brain that are inactive. TMS & Brain Health was created to provide patients with alternative treatments for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. Our high success rate stems from caring clinicians who administer individualized treatment plans, compared to other TMS providers who utilize a ‘cookie-cutter’ standard approach.
HOW TMS WORKS
TMS therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic pulses—similar to those of an MRI machine—to awaken parts of the brain underactive in people who suffer from depression. It is pharmaceutical-free and performed at our offices in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica/West LA by clinical specialists. A typical full treatment course consists of sessions 5 days per week for about 6 weeks. As of 2021, TMS therapy is an FDA-approved alternative treatment for Major Depressive Disorder, bipolar depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and smoking cessation. However, we’ve also had fantastic success for individuals dealing with anxiety, insomnia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, adult ADHD, chronic pain, and even memory impairment.
PERSONALIZED THERAPY AT TMS & BRAIN HEALTH
We specialize in personalized TMS therapy. When creating your therapy protocol, our medical team considers how your mental health disorder manifests in your unique brain functioning. Throughout your treatment, we closely monitor your progress and tweak the therapy based on your results. Our independent research has found that our success rate is significantly higher than that of other TMS providers, who often utilize unfocused, “one size fits all” TMS protocols. We have mastered the art of finetuning protocols to increase effectiveness by changing the duration of treatment, the frequency of stimulation, the number of sessions, and the placement on the head to target different brain areas.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND TMS
Clinical studies show reduced activity in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) region in the brains of people who have depression compared with people who don’t. The electromagnetic pulse created by TMS equipment stimulates the neurotransmitters and receptors in this region of the brain. Depending on your mental health diagnosis, you may show reduced activity in other regions of the brain that TMS therapy can also help reawaken.
We offer a variety of different types of TMS therapy to our patients. We are big fans of theta burst stimulation, also called Express TMS, which more accurately mimics the brain’s universal signal to engage and increase neuroplasticity or learning in around 3 minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING TMS THERAPY?
n your first session, our team performs initial measurements to find the exact location of the DLPFC in your brain (every brain is a bit different). Once we’ve located it, we’ll find the natural level that your neurons release neurotransmitters to customize the TMS settings. Then, you’re all set for your first treatment.
TMS therapy is non-surgical and does not require anesthesia sedation. During your session, you sit in a comfortable chair with the TMS equipment positioned at a specific point on your head. Most patients report a light tapping sensation on their forehead, but it is not painful. We are with you during every single treatment session and are always available should you have any questions or concerns.
To make sure TMS therapy is right for you, you can set up an initial consultation with a member of our medical team. We will create a treatment plan based on your specific needs, which may change on a weekly—or even daily—basis as symptoms improve.
TMS doesn’t cause any disruptive side effects. Some patients report temporary, mild headaches after their sessions. However, you can drive yourself to and from your appointments and won’t need to take any time off from school or work. Other patients may experience mild facial movement during the stimulation, which ceases immediately once the treatment is over. It used to be thought that TMS would cause an increased risk of seizure, but newer research has shown that, as long as TMS is done correctly by adequately trained staff, the risk of seizure is the same as any other antidepressant medication—1 in 80,000. However, other providers do use certain machines that may increase the seizure risk substantially.
TMS therapy is an extremely effective treatment for mood disorders. The trajectory of improvements varies, where about 10-20% of people notice significant improvements in mood within the first week. The majority of people tend to notice that their symptoms slowly lessen as they continue with the TMS course, and about 10% are “late responders,” who don’t notice any improvements until the very end of treatment. Typically, late responders tend to continue to notice improvements for weeks after they’ve stopped TMS completely.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR TMS?
TMS & Brain Health conducts thorough evaluations to determine if TMS therapy is right for you. Whether you are looking for alternative treatments for depression that don’t involve medication, or you’ve tried a number of medications already with little to no results and are looking for scientifically proven therapies for treatment-resistant depression, you may be a good candidate for TMS. However, there are some situations in which TMS therapy isn’t appropriate, including if you have:
- Metal in or around your head (braces and dental fillings are safe)
- Implanted cardioverter defibrillators
- Vagus nerve stimulators
If TMS isn’t right for you, TMS & Brain Health also offers ketamine treatment in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, including infusions and intranasal sprays, and other alternative therapies such as neurofeedback.
PROS AND CONS OF TMS THERAPY
Before beginning treatment, people may want to weigh the pros and cons of TMS therapy. The best parts about TMS are that it is safe, medication-free, has a high success rate, and produces results that last long after the treatment is over. Additionally, TMS can be covered up to 100% by most major insurers. The negative aspects of TMS are that it can cause mild headaches in some people and that patients must come into the office every day for 4 to 6 weeks, Monday through Friday.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH TMS THERAPY IN LOS ANGELES OR SANTA MONICA
If it sounds like you’re a good candidate for TMS therapy and you want to learn more, follow the next steps:
1. GIVE US A CALL OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
If you want to use your insurance, go ahead and fill out the TMS Pre-Approval form.
2. SCHEDULE YOUR EVALUATION
We will schedule you for an evaluation with our clinical team at our LA or Santa Monica location—wherever is more convenient for you. We can also do this initial evaluation over Zoom, if that’s more convenient for you.
3. GET APPROVED THROUGH YOUR INSURANCE
If you choose to go through your insurance, we will submit all of the information to your insurance and get you approved before you begin treatment.
4. BEGIN TREATMENT!
Call TMS & Brain Health today or request an appointment online to learn more about how TMS can improve your mental health.