Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Columbia, MD
Transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS is a drug-free therapy that can treat a range of mental disorders. Thousands of Americans struggle with mental illness and not all respond to traditional treatment such as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs. TMS therapy works directly to relieve symptoms and promote healthy brain function.
As a psychiatrist serving Columbia and the surrounding area, we offer transcranial magnetic stimulation to patients who are good candidates. If you have a treatment-resistant mental illness, TMS may help. Call us at 410-910-0032 to learn more.
TMS and Its Types
TMS uses electromagnetic fields to stimulate certain parts of the brain. The device delivers small magnetic pulses that produce electrical currents inside the brain. Researchers believe that this process encourages healthy neurological function.
At the moment, patients have access to two different types of TMS. Repetitive TMS, also known as rTMS, is a popular option. This treatment is sometimes known as traditional TMS. Deep TMS, or dTMS, is slightly different. It uses a similar mechanism but has broader applications. This second type of TMS reaches deep brain structures to treat the underlying condition. This form of TMS may help patients with complex conditions or severe symptoms.
During the evaluation, the team can determine which form of TMS is right for the patient. Most patients achieve results through rTMS. In some cases, the team may suggest dTMS as an alternative.
“TMS uses electromagnetic fields to stimulate certain parts of the brain.”
How TMS works
Researchers believe that TMS helps the brain produce more neurotransmitters. Boosting neurotransmitter production helps improve brain function. This can help the brain communicate better with the rest of the body, even learning to correct chemical imbalances that cause depression or anxiety.
TMS is non-invasive. During treatment, the technician places a magnetic coil around the patient’s forehead and temples. This process requires no injections, incisions, or medications. Most patients find the TMS treatment process to be pain-free. After treatment, patients can return home right away.
“Researchers believe that TMS helps the brain produce more neurotransmitters.”
Candidates for TMS
TMS is well-tolerated and generally risk-free. As a result, most patients are eligible for TMS. However, some patients might achieve better results from another form of care. Before recommending TMS, the medical team reviews the patient's medical history. We help patients consider each of their options. TMS can ease symptoms linked to:
- Major depressive disorder
- Migraine headaches
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Some patients with addiction issues or eating disorders have also benefited from TMS. If someone has dementia or other cognitive problems, TMS may not be appropriate for them. Researchers have found limited evidence that TMS helps improve cognitive performance. Medical research is ongoing.
The FDA has approved TMS for adults, and it is suitable for most pregnant patients. Most children and teens are not eligible for TMS. You might be unable to receive TMS if you have:
- Cochlear implants
- Medication pumps
TMS may not be appropriate for patients with seizure disorders, either. If someone is not sure whether TMS is a good fit, they should call our office. Our medical team can determine if someone is a candidate for TMS.
“Before recommending TMS, the medical team reviews the patient’s medical history.”
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What to Expect from TMS
TMS treatment plans can vary. At first, patients have sessions 5-7 times per week. This initial treatment period lasts for 4-6 weeks. Each appointment usually lasts for 30-40 minutes. Afterward, patients may receive "booster" treatments several times a year. During treatment, the team provides earplugs while sitting in a chair with the electromagnetic coil against their head.
The device may switch off and on many times during treatment. It produces a clicking or tapping sound, which is why patients wear earplugs. As the device works, the patient may feel a tapping sensation against their head. The patient will be awake and oriented throughout treatment. The technician observes the patient’s reaction and adjusts the magnetic dosage as needed. They continue to make adjustments throughout the treatment cycle.
TMS works on an outpatient basis, with most patients returning to their normal activities right away. Many patients drive themselves home. Before the patient leaves the clinic, the psychiatric team conducts an examination to ensure the patient is alert, comfortable, and responding well to treatment.
“As the device works, the patient may feel a tapping sensation against their head.”
Questions Answered on This Page
Q. What is TMS?
Q. Is TMS safe?
People Also Ask
Side Effects of TMS
TMS seldom causes side effects. Most patients tolerate their treatment with minimal discomfort. Sometimes, patients might experience a mild headache or scalp discomfort. They may also notice some muscle twitching. These effects usually disappear within a few hours.
In rare cases, patients might experience seizures or manic episodes. If patients fail to wear ear protection during treatment, they might develop hearing problems. Rest assured, the team works with patients at each stage of treatment. The psychiatrist takes every precaution to ensure patient safety.
“TMS seldom causes side effects.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How does TMS compare to other treatments?
A. Most treatment plans for mental disorders include medication. Unfortunately, some patients do not see results from these drugs. Others cannot tolerate medication due to pregnancy or another health concern.
TMS therapy is drug-free, and research shows that it works well on patients who have not responded to other treatments. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, TMS requires no sedation. Patients may achieve optimal results by combining TMS with therapy. Our team can provide more information about using TMS alongside other treatments.
Q. Can TMS help treatment-resistant depression?
A. TMS therapy delivers results, even for patients who have struggled to find effective treatment. Several studies have compared the effectiveness of TMS and antidepressants. TMS produces better results in patients that have not responded to other treatments.
Q. Is TMS therapy safe for children?
A. TMS is approved for the treatment of depression, OCD, and other mental disorders. But at the moment, only adults can receive TMS. Some clinical trials are examining the use of TMS in children, but results are still pending. Our team can provide more information about clinical trials.
Q. Can I receive TMS therapy for addiction disorders?
A. Researchers have found that TMS may ease symptoms associated with addiction and withdrawal. TMS might prevent relapse in some patients, too. Researchers believe that TMS resolves underlying problems like depression, anxiety, or intrusive thoughts. Patients may improve their chances of sobriety, but research in this area is ongoing.
Q. Can I receive TMS therapy while pregnant or nursing?
A. Most patients can receive TMS while pregnant or breastfeeding. TMS acts directly on the brain, and it requires no medication. Researchers have found no evidence that this treatment is harmful to a developing fetus. But if you suspect that you might be pregnant, let our team know before treatment begins. Our team can provide individualized guidance.
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- Anxiety is a feeling in which the patient suffers from worrying thoughts, tension, and certain physical changes.
- Cognitive performance
- Cognitive performance refers to the strength of a human’s higher mental abilities, including thinking, learning, reasoning, memory, attention, and decision making.
- A migraine headache is an intense and debilitating headache, unlike the standard headache. It can lead to nausea and vomiting, and difficulty speaking.
- A pacemaker is a device surgically placed under the skin of your chest to control your heartbeat.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that stimulates the brain’s nerve cells to treat depression symptoms.
Call Us Today
If you have not seen results from antidepressants, TMS therapy may be right for you. If you would like to know more about TMS, let Springs Health LLC in Columbia help. Call us at 410-910-0032 to learn more about our services and policies.
Helpful Related Links
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2023
- American Psychiatric Association (APA). American Psychiatric Association (APA). 2023
- Psychology Today. Psychology Today. 2023
- The American Board of Professional Psychology. The American Board of Professional Psychology. 2023
- The American Journal of Psychology. The American Journal of Psychology. 2023
- The National Association of Behavioral Healthcare. The National Association of Behavioral Healthcare. 2023
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- Springs Health LLC was established in 2021.
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- We serve patients from the following cities: Columbia, Clarksville, North Laurel, Ellicott City, and Savage
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