NeuroStar TMS Therapy in Raritan & Cedar Knolls, NJ
WHAT IS NEUROSTAR TMS THERAPY?
TMS therapy is more formally known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS is an FDA-cleared non-invasive treatment procedure that uses targeted magnetic energy to stimulate regions of the brain that are underactive in depression.
The brain stimulation TMS produced by NeuroStar TMS Therapy machines used by Pelorus does not directly affect the whole brain. The NeuroStar magnetic coil produces magnetic fields that reach only about 2-3 centimeters into the brain, directly where the coil is placed.
The magnetic fields produced by TMS are safe and similar to those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
HOW DOES NEUROSTAR TMS WORK TO TREAT DEPRESSION?
As the magnetic fields reach parts of the brain, they produce tiny electrical currents that stimulate nerve cells. As Pelorus uses repetitive TMS to target regions of the brain responsible for mood regulation — such as the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) — NeuroStar TMS Therapy is thought to bring balance to the brain’s neurochemistry.
Depression is a complex disease, but it is thought to be the result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine:
- Serotonin — is the key neurotransmitter responsible for stabilizing mood, happiness, and feelings of well-being. Low levels of serotonin can result in depression, trouble sleeping, anxiety, among other things.
- Dopamine — is a neurotransmitter the nervous system uses to send messages between nerve cells across the brain and body. It regulates the reward center and plays a large role in how humans feel pleasure. In turn, it can affect our behaviors in regards to how we think.
- Norepinephrine — is released when the mind senses a stressful situation and affects cognitive and motor function. Regular levels of norepinephrine lower the chance for depression and anxiety, among other things.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is typically done 5 days a week for 4 to 6 weeks. And each session takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.
The reason for the repetitive treatment sessions is due to how NeuroStar TMS Therapy works.
A single session can help produce these neurotransmitters, but the pathways on which these mechanisms work need to be exercised in a similar way our muscles work. While the brain is not a muscle, regular stimulation of the nerve cells responsible for major depressive disorder needs to be strengthened (or weakened) through a process that happens over time — like working out a muscle.
As these pathways in the brain are strengthened, the patient may better see lasting relief from depression.
Currently, the success rate of the treatment ranges between 30% and 64% chance of remission — increasing theta and alpha brainwave activity in positive responders.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO TMS?
The vast majority of patients tolerate TMS quite well. The most common side effects might involve headache or scalp discomfort. Doctors typically encourage patients who are prone to side effects to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before their session commences. Severe reactions to TMS are extremely rare but could involve seizures or hearing loss.
Certain patients with some health conditions may advise against this form of therapy. However, it is generally regarded as a safe treatment for depression and other mental and mood disorders like anxiety. People who have epilepsy or a condition that makes them vulnerable to seizures may not be eligible for TMS treatment.
DOES MEDICAL INSURANCE COVER TMS THERAPY?
Each insurance plan and provider is different. However, most major medical insurance providers will cover TMS after medications and psychotherapy have proved ineffective for alleviating depression.
If you are struggling to manage your depression, and feel that medications or other treatments aren’t bringing you relief, contact Pelorus TMS to find out more about how TMS therapy can help you.
Call our Raritan or Cedar Knolls, NJ office at (973) 295-6335 or schedule an appointment online.