Monday, March 19 , 2018, 2:13 pm | Fair 67º


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Can Help with Depression

Advanced Psychiatric Care of Santa Barbara offers FDA-approved treatment

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
TMS is way of targeting specific areas of the brain with a strong magnetic field to stimulate brain cells. The FDA approved this treatment with the NeuroStar TMS device in 2008. There are about 300 TMS centers nationwide in private practices and in major academic institutions.

What are the biological effects of TMS Therapy?
When brain cells are stimulated, they release brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These substances are important for mood and anxiety regulation. During TMS Therapy, an area about the size of a golf ball near the brain surface (the cortex) is directly stimulated. In addition, TMS enhances certain brain circuits that connect the cortex to deeper structures and enables TMS-activation of other areas of the brain also.

Who might benefit from TMS Therapy?
TMS is FDA-approved for the treatment of adults with depression that has not responded adequately to an antidepressant medication. Denise Lin, M.D. of Advanced Psychiatric Care of Santa Barbara, is a board-certified psychiatrist who is certified in TMS Therapy with the NeuroStar TMS device. Dr. Lin has used TMS to treat people with depression plus anxiety, bipolar depression, or depressed people who just don’t like the side effects of antidepressant medications. Some depressed pregnant and breast-feeding women have also been treated with TMS successfully.

Can you use medications during TMS Therapy?
Yes. Dr. Lin will meet with you to discuss this. Also, she is happy to work with your prescribing physician to create an optimal treatment plan. Dr. Lin may recommend certain supplements to take during TMS Therapy.

How many treatments does it take?
A typical treatment course for depression is 20-30 treatments. Each treatment lasts 37-55 minutes. The treatments are usually done daily, Monday through Friday for four to six weeks and are done in a comfortable office setting.

Does TMS require sedatives? Is there any downtime?
No sedatives are needed, and so you can drive, work, eat and do any of your normal activities before and after treatment sessions.

What about side effects?
The treatment feels like a rapid tapping on the scalp. During treatments people occasionally experience facial twitching or slight headache. If these side effects occur, they are usually mild and can be resolved by re-positioning or pre-medicating with Tylenol. There is slight seizure risk associated with TMS Therapy.

Does insurance cover TMS Therapy?
Insurance companies are starting to become familiar with TMS Therapy and are increasingly covering it, but it is still done on a case-by-case basis. If TMS is appropriate for you, Dr. Lin and the Neuronetics Care Connection will work to provide your insurance company with the information it needs to reimburse you or cover it for you. Dr. Lin’s staff will talk with you about this process.

Where to get more information?
Contact Christina Guest, TMS coordinator at the Advanced Psychiatric Care & TMS Center of Santa Barbara at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.845.2323. Click here for more information.

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