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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Non-invasive treatment for severe depression

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses magnetic stimulation to treat the brain for severe depression in those who are 18+ and have not found success after trying multiple medications.

What is the goal of TMS?

The goal of TMS is to stimulate parts of the brain that can improve symptoms of depression.

How does TMS work?

During a TMS session, a specialized device delivers short bursts of magnetic pulses to targeted regions of the brain. These pulses generate small electrical currents that can stimulate or inhibit activity in the targeted area. By selectively stimulating specific brain regions, TMS aims to restore the balance of brain activity and improve symptoms.

How effective is TMS?

TMS has an 83% response rate and a 62% remission rate in the largest Outcomes Registry in depression.

What does TMS treatment look like?

During a treatment session, you will be seated in a comfortable chair. A specialized TMS device will be positioned over your scalp, targeting specific areas of your brain associated with mood regulation.

The TMS device will then generate magnetic pulses. This painlessly stimulates the targeted brain regions. You may experience tapping or clicking sounds and a tapping sensation on your scalp during the procedure.

How will I feel after a TMS session?

TMS is generally well-tolerated, and most people can resume their normal activities immediately after each session. The procedure is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia or sedation, allowing you to remain awake throughout the treatment.

Headaches are the most commonly reported side effect of TMS. They are usually mild and resolve quickly. There are no long-term side effects.

How long is TMS treatment?

Treatment is required every weekday for 7 weeks plus one day on the 8th week. Each session can be as short as 3 minutes and no longer than 18 minutes.

Is TMS the same as electroconvulsive therapy?

No, electroconvulsive therapy is different. Electroconvulsive therapy is offered at Aspirus St. Luke's, but TMS is an option to try before electroconvulsive therapy.

A referral is required for this service. You can request a referral from your primary care provider or request a consult online.

To establish care with a Aspirus St. Luke's primary care provider, call 218.249.4000 or find a clinic near you.

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