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Center for TMS Therapy

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) 

For those suffering from depression, there is hope. Depression can take a toll on your quality of life, family, friends and work. Generally, treatment for depression involves a combination of counseling and medications. However, despite advances, medications sometimes do not achieve desired improvement and/or come with unpleasant side effects. Facts about depression indicate that studies report more than four million patients do not receive benefit from taking antidepressants.1 

The Center for TMS Therapy at Lahey Outpatient Center, Danvers offers an innovative new treatment option called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy for individuals who don't achieve adequate benefit from anti-depressants and/or experience unpleasant side effects. We are the only facility serving the Boston, Massachusetts North Shore area providing this treatment. 

What is TMS Therapy?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy is a non-invasive, non-drug therapy that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective treatment for depression that has not responded well to treatment with medications. TMS Therapy is not a form of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy is administered under the supervision of a psychiatrist. The patient is awake and sits in a comfortable chair with a small, curved device resting lightly on his/her head. It works by delivering focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses to stimulate the left prefrontal cortex of the brain non-invasively - the area of the brain believed to be involved with regulating mood. It is performed as an outpatient procedure and does not require any type of anesthesia or sedation. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy treatment typically consists of a 37-minute session administered five days a week for four to six weeks. 

Is TMS Therapy Effective?

Studies of the effectiveness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy have been conducted with adult patients with major depression (major depressive disorder) who have not seen significant improvement after taking an antidepressant medication at the minimal dose or higher for the duration of time at which improvement is expected. In these studies, one in two patients improved significantly and one in three patients were completely symptom-free after six weeks of treatment.2   TMS Therapy does not work for everyone. 

Who May Benefit?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy is indicated for adult patients with major depressive disorder who have not seen significant improvement after taking an antidepressant medication at the minimal dose or higher for the duration of time at which improvement is expected. People for whom this treatment has been successful include those who: 

  • Are not getting adequate benefit from their current treatment for depression.
  • Are taking multiple medications to treat their depression.
  • Feel that the side effects of their antidepressant medication(s) outweigh the benefits.
  • Find that depression has increased their doctor visits for other conditions.
  • Have difficulty making a living because of their depression.
  • Feel that depression still has too much control of their lives.

Interested patients must first have a consultation by the program's psychiatrist who will provide more information about TMS Therapy and determine if he/she is an appropriate candidate. 

Is TMS Therapy Safe?

Extensive research has been conducted over a 20-year period on the safety and effectiveness of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy. The device was cleared by the FDA as a safe and effective treatment for depression in 2008. Because the treatment does not involve any medications, it does not cause the unpleasant side effects often caused by medications such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea or dry mouth. It also does not negatively affect cognition (thought processes such as awareness, perception, reasoning and judgment). The most common side effect is scalp discomfort for a period of time, but the treatment is well-tolerated by most patients. TMS Therapy should not be used (is contraindicated) in patients with metallic devices or non-removable metallic objects in or around the head. 

 

Medical Staff

Barry Ginsberg, M.D.

 

For More Information or to Schedule a Consultation

  • 978.304.8671
  • Flexible hours for initial consultation appointments

 

In the News

Neurostar® Patient FAQs

 

Insurance Coverage

As a new technology, many insurance companies have not yet established a TMS Therapy benefit and are evaluating treatments on a case by case basis. TMS Therapy patients have access to the NeuroStar® Care Connection*, a resource that assists patients in pursuing insurance reimbursement. The initial consultation however is usually covered by insurance.

NeuroStar® Care Connection -- 877.622.2867.

 

References

[1] Kessler, RD, et al. The Epidemiology of Major Depressive Disorder-Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). JAMA, 2003 Jun: Vol. 289, No.23.

 

[2] Demitrack MA, Thase ME, Clinical Significance of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the treatment of depression: Synthesis of Recent Data. Psychopharmacology Bulletin 2009; 42(2):5-38.