Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - The MPC


What is TMS?

TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a non-invasive medical procedure used to treat certain mental health conditions, particularly depression. It involves the use of a device that generates magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain. This stimulation is believed to improve neuronal activity in the targeted brain regions, which may help improve symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. TMS is typically administered as a series of treatment sessions, and it has been approved by TGA, Therapeutic Goods Australia, as a safe and effective treatment option for depression.

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How does TMS work?

TMS uses a specialized machine:

1. Coil Placement: A coil goes on the scalp over the targeted brain region, positioned precisely.

2. Magnetic Pulse: The machine sends a strong, safe magnetic pulse through the scalp and skull.

3. Electrical Currents: This pulse creates electrical currents in the brain, depolarizing neurons.

4. Activation/Inhibition: TMS can activate or inhibit neuron activity based on frequency.

5. Neuroplasticity: Repeated TMS sessions can lead to lasting changes in brain activity, helping treat various neurological and psychiatric conditions.

TMS is used in research and clinical settings for mapping brain function, investigating disorders, and treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Ongoing research continues to explore its therapeutic mechanisms.

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Benefits of TMS

TMS provides distinct benefits compared to traditional medications for depression and psychiatric conditions:

1. Non-Invasive: No surgery or implants required, unlike ECT, and doesn't induce seizures or need anesthesia.

2. Fewer Systemic Side Effects: Less impact on weight, sexual function, or gastrointestinal issues commonly seen with medications.

3. Targeted Stimulation: Precisely targets brain areas linked to depression, enhancing treatment accuracy.

4. Potential Rapid Response: Some see quick symptom improvement, beneficial for medication non-responders or urgent relief.

5. No Drug Interactions: Since it doesn't involve medications, there's no risk of drug interactions.

6. Effective for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Works well for cases not responding to antidepressants.

7. Well-Tolerated: Generally well-tolerated, outpatient, no sedation needed, and minimal disruption to daily activities.

8. Long-Term Benefits: Benefits may persist after treatment ends, offering lasting relief.

Consult a healthcare provider for personalized treatment considerations.

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Conditions treated with TMS

TMS treats various conditions:

1. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): FDA-approved for treatment when antidepressants aren't enough.

2. Bipolar Disorder: Helpful for bipolar depression when meds aren't effective.

3. Anxiety Disorders: Shown promise in GAD, OCD, and PTSD treatment.'

4. Chronic Pain: Studied for conditions like fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain.

5. Parkinson's Disease: Non-invasive method to improve motor symptoms.

6. Stroke Rehabilitation: Aids in motor recovery post-stroke.

Each case's suitability requires evaluation by a healthcare professional.

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TMS Patient Journey

During a typical Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment session,
the following steps are involved:

  • 1. Preparation
    Before the session begins, the patient is comfortably seated in a chair. The clinician ensures that the patient is relaxed and properly positioned.
  • 2. Coil Placement
    The clinician positions the TMS coil on the patient's scalp, targeting the specific region of the brain that needs to be stimulated. The coil is usually held in place using a mechanical arm to ensure precise positioning.
  • 3. Stimulation Parameters
    The clinician sets the parameters for the TMS treatment, including the intensity, frequency, and duration of the magnetic pulses. These parameters are often determined based on the specific condition being treated and the individual patient's needs.
  • 4. Stimulation
    Once the parameters are set, the clinician activates the TMS device, and the magnetic pulses are delivered to the targeted brain region. The patient may feel a tapping or clicking sensation on the scalp as the pulses are administered, but the procedure is generally painless.
  • 5. Session Duration
    A typical TMS treatment session lasts anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the protocol being used and the specific condition being treated. During this time, the patient remains awake and alert.
  • 6. Multiple Sessions
    TMS treatment usually involves multiple sessions spread out over several weeks. The exact number of sessions and frequency of treatment may vary depending on the patient's response and the goals of therapy.
  • 7. Monitoring
    Throughout the session, the clinician monitors the patient's response to the treatment, including any immediate effects or side effects that may occur. Adjustments to the stimulation parameters may be made based on the patient's feedback and clinical judgment.
  • 8. Post-Treatment
    After the session is complete, the patient can typically resume normal activities immediately. Some patients may experience mild side effects such as headache or scalp discomfort, but these are usually temporary and resolve quickly.

Overall, TMS treatment is a well-tolerated and non-invasive procedure that can be performed in an outpatient setting. It is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and certain neurological disorders.

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TMS Consultation

The first step before undertaking TMS is consultation with a professional or an expert about the suitability of the treatment for the individual and obtaining information about transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This consultation allows individuals to gather relevant information about TMS, understand its potential benefits and risks, and make informed decisions about whether TMS is a suitable treatment option for their specific condition.

During a TMS information consult, the professional or expert will typically obtain detailed history of your mental health symptoms, past treatment before providing detailed explanations about how TMS works, the procedure itself, and the potential outcomes. They may discuss the specific conditions that TMS is commonly used to treat, such as depression, anxiety, or certain neurological disorders.The professional may inquire about the individual's medical history, current medications, and previous treatment experiences to determine if TMS is a viable option.

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TMS Consultation

The consult may also include a discussion about the candidacy criteria for TMS, including any contraindications or precautions that need to be considered.

Additionally, the consult may cover the expected treatment duration, potential side effects, and the overall cost and insurance coverage of TMS. The professional may also address any concerns or questions raised by the individual to ensure they have a clear understanding of the treatment.

Overall, a TMS information consult serves as an educational session to provide individuals with the necessary information to make an informed decision about pursuing TMS as a treatment option for their specific condition.

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Pricing and Considerations

The fees for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can vary depending on several factors, including the location, clinic, treatment protocol, and any additional services provided. It's best to consult with our TMS nurse to get accurate and up-to-date information on their fee schedule. However, here are some general considerations regarding the cost of TMS:

Initial Assessment:
There may be an initial assessment fee, which covers the evaluation of the individual's condition, medical history, and determining the appropriateness of TMS as a treatment option.
Treatment Sessions:
TMS treatment typically involves multiple sessions over several weeks. The cost per session can range from a few hundred to several hundred dollars depending on the duration and intensity of the treatment. Our clinic is offering BULK BILLING TMS treatment for patients with Major Depression.
Total Treatment Course:
The total cost of a full TMS treatment course can vary widely. It depends on the number of sessions recommended for the specific condition.
Insurance Coverage:
Some insurance providers cover TMS treatment for specific conditions, while others may not. It's important to check with the insurance company to understand the coverage and any associated out-of-pocket costs.
Additional Services:
Additional services, such as psychiatric evaluations, medication management, or counseling, may be offered alongside TMS treatment. These services may have separate fees.

It is recommended to contact TMS providers or clinics in your area to inquire about their specific fee schedule, insurance coverage, and any potential financing options they may offer.