Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is an approved non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic pulses to activate the brain’s neurotransmitters. The physical principles of electric currents and their effect on the human brain have been studied since the 1880s. But, it was in the 1980s when the first TMS device was introduced. The United States FDA first approved TMS devices through further research and development in October 2008.
Although TMS has been around for years, people viable for this treatment still hesitate because of their lack of knowledge of TMS. And usually, TMS costs around $400 to $500 per session, but this depends on what you need and your insurance coverage.
Today, we’ll talk about how TMS works, its benefits and side effects, and why you should consider it.
What Is TMS?
TMS is a psychiatric breakthrough in treating depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, and other mental health conditions. The TMS device emits painless high-frequency magnetic pulses to specific target areas of the brain. Stimulating these particular areas of the brain causes neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to heal and build connections between the nerves. This process is proven to improve anxiety and depression symptoms, among others. TMS is also typically used when other mental health treatments or medications haven’t been effective, making it another option for people with resistant conditions.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of TMS?
A TMS treatment has a 75% response rate. This means that 3 out of 4 patients who completed TMS sessions have seen significant improvements from the procedure. Below are the 9 benefits of TMS sessions.
- 1. Non-invasive
TMS is, first and foremost, a non-invasive treatment. No instrument will be introduced into the body, and there will be no skin break or contact with the internal cavity. TMS is also less invasive compared to other alternative treatments for depression like Electroconvulsive therapy ECT, vagal nerve stimulator, and deep brain stimulator.
- 2. Non-systemic
TMS is also non-systemic, meaning it is not absorbed throughout the body, unlike drugs or medications. It only targets specific areas of the brain and does not involve other organs or parts of the body. Unlike medications, TMS has no systemic side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, weight fluctuations, libido changes, etc.
- 3. No Anesthesia Required
Since TMS does not require invasive procedures such as surgery, anesthesia and other similar medications are not necessary or required.
- 4. No Risk of Addiction
Since no medications or drugs are required, TMS offers no risk of addiction to another form of substance. No discontinuation symptoms occur after TMS treatments are finished, unlike drugs such as antidepressants which can cause serotonin discontinuation syndrome with discontinued use.
- 5. No Cognitive Side Effects
No study suggests that TMS can cause cognitive side effects such as memory loss. TMS is often compared to ECT because the latter causes memory loss. However, this is not the case for TMS. It is non-invasive and only targets a specific part of the patient’s brain, unlike inducing seizures during ECT sessions. Moreover, data shows that TMS enhances the cognitive ability of patients after treatments. Because of this, TMS is viewed as a potential Human Enhancement technology.
- 6. Outpatient Access
TMS is an outpatient treatment option. Patients can continue their daily routines and activities after sessions, unlike ECT, which requires sedation that can interfere with their ability to drive or work.
- 7. FDA-approved
The TMS device and its technology were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008.
- 8. Covered By Insurance
During its early days, TMS was an expensive treatment. Today, it is relatively cheaper. Additionally, almost all insurance companies recognize the procedure as a necessary treatment for depression and other mental health disorders. Especially when the first line of treatments, like medications and therapies, have not worked. This can help in offsetting some of the cost of TMS.
- 9. Effective
Last but not least, TMS is effective. Statistics have shown that TMS can offer better odds in addressing mental disorders like depression and anxiety than medications. TMS has a 60% remission rate. This means that 60% of the patients who completed TMS treatments are no longer clinically depressed. Additionally, patients showed significant improvements in their mood despite not reaching the remission point. This means they can lead a content life with fewer mental illness symptoms.
Disadvantages should still be considered and discussed so you or a loved one can weigh if the cost of TMS is worth it. Below are the cons of the treatment:
- 1. Mild Discomforts
TMS treatments often have mild and fleeting side effects like facial twitching during the session and short-term headaches. It can also cause redness in the area where the device is placed and mild fatigue after the procedure. All in all, these side effects go away quickly.
- 2. Commitment
Commitment and consistency are needed for TMS treatments to show positive effects. Sometimes, a treatment constitutes 20-30 daily sessions over 4-6 weeks. Although this setup is shorter than other treatments, it needs consistency and dedication.
- 3. Cost
TMS sessions, like any other treatment, cost money. Thus, insurance can help if you consider undergoing TMS treatments for your health concern.
- 4. Strict Insurance Coverage Requirements
Although we mentioned in the last section that most insurances cover TMS treatments, insurance coverage can still be hard to obtain. More often than not, stricter criteria are applied to this particular treatment. Sometimes, insurance can require up to four treatment failures before approval. This can negatively impact how you can afford the cost of TMS, so it is always recommended to talk to your healthcare and insurance provider.
- 5. Availability And Access To Treatment Centers
TMS is advancing to become more ubiquitous in big urban centers. However, some suburban and rural areas are inaccessible to TMS treatment centers.
How Much Can A TMS Session Cost?
Is TMS expensive? There is no definitive answer to this question since the answer depends on your situation and the treatment center you wish to get your procedures from. Usually, TMS sessions can range from $400 to $500. Since a whole course of TMS is done multiple times a week over a month or two, costs can be roughly around $8000 – $10000.
A Revolutionary Treatment In Long Beach California
TMS offers a revolutionary way to treat depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental disorder. However, it can be overwhelming to weigh its pros and cons. If you are unsure how much TMS sessions cost or are looking for the right treatment center for your or your loved one’s needs, we at Roots TMS are here to help. We offer cutting-edge treatments like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS Therapy for Depression while providing our patients the highest level of safety and support. Our treatment team is here to help you and guide you on your journey to recovery and wellness. Visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, or call (562) 526-1791 for immediate assistance.