Rewire Your Brain? Yes, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Can Really Work

If you’re suffering from depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you’re not alone. Recent studies estimate that about 16 million American adults have experienced depression and 2-3 million adults have OCD.  

For many of these men and women, traditional treatments like psychotherapy and mood medications don’t provide significant relief. At the Advanced Institute for Psychiatry, we understand the pain and frustration treatment-resistant depression and OCD can bring. 

Our Dr. Diana Ghelber, a board-certified psychiatrist, specializes in treating patients with treatment-resistant mood disorders and OCD. We use an integrative approach to treatment, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy.  

Make your well-being a priority this year and learn what this cutting-edge treatment can do for you. We’ve curated this informative guide to help you understand what TMS is and how it can rewire your brain.

TMS explained

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to trigger stimulation in the nerve cells of the brain. Because the magnetic stimulation occurs transcranially, which means “through the skull,” the process is pain free and does not require hospitalization or anesthesia. The magnetic pulses travel through your skull to reach deep into the areas of your brain that regulate mood. 

Conditions TMS can treat

At the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry, Dr. Ghelber uses the BrainsWayⓇ Deep TMS system. This cutting-edge system is FDA cleared for the treatment of major depression and OCD in patients who haven’t responded to traditional antidepressant medicines and psychotherapy. 

What a TMS session is like

Before your first session, Dr. Ghelber reviews your medical history and conducts a physical exam to ensure TMS is the right therapy for you. Once you’re cleared for treatment, expect to spend about 20 minutes in the office for each session.

Your TMS treatment session begins with you relaxing in a comfortable chair while Dr. Ghelber places a cushioned helmet outfitted with a treatment coil on your head. The coil is positioned about your left prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain believed to play a large role in controlling mood. 

Most of our patients find success with five sessions per week over 4-6 weeks. There’s no downtime required, and you can drive and resume normal activity immediately after your session. 

How TMS rewires the brain

Researchers believe depression and OCD may result from an imbalance in mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The BrainsWay Deep TMS system sends concentrated pulses of magnetic energy into your brain to activate neurotransmitter release which can restore balance to your brain and alleviate your depression or OCD.

What results can I expect from TMS therapy?

With regular TMS treatments over time, studies indicate good success for men and women with treatment-resistant mood disorders. Approximately 50-60% of people who have not experienced success with medication experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms after TMS therapy, and for about one-third of those patients, mood symptoms disappeared completely. 

As with any treatment for mood disorders, it’s important to continue treatment and maintain regular appointments with your care provider. Studies shows that most people receiving TMS experience relief from symptoms for months after their last TMS session, and the average improvement lasts for just over a year. 

The new year is a great time to get the treatment you need for your depression or OCD. To learn more about TMS therapy and how it can help you, call the Institute for Advanced Psychiatry in Fort Worth, Texas, or book an appointment online while you’re here on the website. 

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