The cause of depression has not been discovered, but the current leading theory is that it is rooted in an imbalance of chemical messengers in the brain that relay signals between brain cells. These messengers are called neurotransmitters.
To combat the effects of depression, we at MagVenture use a treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It works by targeting certain areas of the brain and increasing activity in those areas. We do not use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
A MagVenture treatment session consists of stimulating the area of the brain that controls mood. This is done with a magnet that is similar in strength to an MRI machine. It’s thought that the magnet’s pulses have a positive effect on neurotransmitter levels in the brain, so that long-term remission is a possibility.
Dr. Sanjai Thankachen is highly experienced and passionate about helping veterans and their families with depression through TMS therapy.
Find out more about TMS Treatment for Veterans.
What you can expect from a MagVenture TMS therapy session:
Sit back and relax into your comfortable treatment chair, then your doctor will lightly position a small, curved magnetic coil on your head.
Magnetic pulses are delivered through a magnetic coil to stimulate nerve cells in the part of the brain controlling the mood.
Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, your TMS session will last between 19 to 37 minutes.
Get back to the rest of your day as soon as your treatment is finished! Since there won’t be a negative effect on your level of alertness or memory, you’ll be able to drive yourself to and from sessions.
Your 19-37 minute, in-office TMS Therapy treatments are administered five days a week for four to six weeks, depending on your doctor’s recommendation.
Real People With Real Results
The noninvasive procedure transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can improve symptoms of depression by using magnetic fields to activate and stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Typically, TMS is used as an alternative to medications or as a supplement to antidepressants when they have lost effectiveness.
Magnetic pulses are delivered to specific areas of the brain during a TMS session.
An initial course of TMS treatment is typically around 19-37 minutes per session, 5 days a week over 4 to 6 weeks.
Most commercial plans cover TMS treatments because they recognize how effective TMS Therapy can be in treating depression.
Since TMS does not cycle through the blood or circulate the body, it will not have negative side effects like dry mouth, nausea, sedation, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, etc. The side effects of TMS that were most commonly reported were mild to moderate headaches and scalp discomfort. This occurred less frequently after completing the first week of treatment.
No, TMS uses a special method of delivering pulsed magnetic fields for therapeutic benefits. The strength of the magnetic field TMS uses is comparable to an MRI. This is drastically different from the popular practice of using low-intensity, static magnetic fields. Those magnets put off weak and undirected static fields, meaning that they are not able to stimulate the brain cells like TMS can. This is one reason why TMS therapy so effective.