For patients with specific mental health disorders, such as major depressive disorder, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be very helpful. Once they learn about the therapy and how it can reduce symptoms, many patients are eager to give TMS a try. Who is a good candidate for TMS is ultimately decided on a case-by-case basis. This is a personalised form of care, and patients must first satisfy TMS requirements in order to be eligible for it.
To determine whether TMS will be a suitable fit for you, it is necessary to comprehend how it operates.
There are a few significant traits to consider:
- There are little adverse consequences. The biggest one is when the scalp feels like it is being tapped during therapy. Additionally, some people get a minor headache following treatment. An over-the-counter pain reliever can be used to treat these headaches.
- You can drive yourself to and from treatment with TMS because it is non-invasive and doesn’t require sedation, so there is no downtime.
- An electromagnetic coil is applied to the scalp during treatment. The coil emits magnetic pulses, which the brain subsequently converts into mild electrical currents. Specific parts of the brain are stimulated by these currents.
- The length of a treatment session is 18 to 40 minutes. TMS is typically administered once a week for the first several weeks, then less frequently as the treatment progresses.
- Each patient receives a customised therapy with TMS. However, certain TMS prerequisites must be met before possible treatment candidates can begin.
TMS Important Criteria
To be authorised for treatment with TMS, you must fulfil the requirements listed below:
- TMS has been approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), quitting smoking, and depression-related anxiety symptoms (also called depressive anxiety). Other mental health issues cannot currently be treated with it due to regulatory restrictions.
- History of treatment: TMS is typically utilised for patients who have tried medicine and/or talk therapy but are still not feeling well. While receiving TMS, however, people frequently continue taking their drugs and/or receiving counselling.
- Age: TMS is currently not licensed for use in children or adolescents; it is typically reserved for individuals 18 years of age and above. Patients who are nearly 18 years old are in a “grey area” and may be suitable for TMS; the TMS provider can decide if they are.
Health History: Due to the nature of TMS treatment, individuals may not be eligible if they have pacemakers or vagus nerve stimulators installed in their bodies, with the exception of dental fillings, which are acceptable. People who have neurological issues, such as epilepsy risk or head trauma, may not be eligible for treatment. Even if you have one of these conditions, our Care Team will be able to provide you with advice based on your individual circumstances, so it doesn’t necessarily preclude you from treatment.