While TMS treatment varies by individual, a typical treatment course consists of:
- Average of 20-30 treatment sessions
- 5 treatments per week
- Conducted over a 4-6 week period
- Each treatment session lasts between 20-40 minutes
What to expect
Patients relax in a reclined treatment chair and remain awake and alert during treatment. The TMS device delivers MRI strength magnetic pulses to the area of the brain known to regulate mood. The pulses, delivered in 30-second intervals, feel like tapping on the scalp but without the sensation of anything touching the skin. During the session, you can listen to music, watch television, or simply sit back and relax. Occasionally, a mild headache or scalp discomfort is experienced at the site of stimulation during or after treatment; however, most irritation disappears after the first week of treatment. Ibuprofen or aspirin can be taken to alleviate discomfort.
After a treatment session, patients can immediately return to their normal activities, like driving or returning to work or school. In clinical trials, most patients experienced a positive response to TMS Therapy by the third week of treatment. They report more energy, desire, and motivation to do things, along with improved sleep. Some patients may experience initial results in less time, while others may take longer. However, by the fourth and fifth weeks of treatment, most patients report their mood has drastically improved and becomes consistent.
Your first TMS treatment session
Your first treatment session can last up to 90 minutes, as one of our practitioners will determine the appropriate placement and energy settings of the treatment coil. Placement of the treatment coil and strength of the magnetic field are important factors in successful TMS treatment and each patient requires customized settings to ensure the correct treatment dose. In order to do this, a test will be performed to identify your motor threshold; the amount of magnetic field strength resulting in a movement of the fingers on your right hand. From there, the coil is moved to the left frontal lobe, specifically the Dorsal Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), where treatment begins.