What Is TMS?
Treatment with Medication
To understand how successful TMS is, it’s important to understand just how successful other medications are.
- A large clinical study funded by the NIMH called the STAR*D study found that commonly prescribed medications, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), are only successful 27.5% of the time. However, if the SSRI doesn’t work (as is the case for many individuals with treatment-resistant depression), the success rate for medication decreases.
- By the fourth medication trial, the likelihood of reaching remission is a mere 7%.
- Given each medication trial can take 1-2 mo to assess response & tolerance, a chronically depressed patient may spend a minimum of 4-8 months bouncing from one medication to another, while the probability of reaching remission is dropping with time—with the likelihood of treatment failure approaching more than 90%.
- Not to mention, with each medication, there is the risk of poly-pharmacy, and the net risk to benefit ratio will become higher for risk, lower for benefit.
Types of TMS
Available to the public since 2008, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive treatment for depression. The procedure sends out electromagnetic pulses from a figure-8-shaped handheld device, used to regulate the neural activity of brain structures found to be involved in depression.
While rTMS has been clinically shown to be a safe and effective treatment option, this original, standard form of TMS has certain limitations: The figure-8 coil’s relatively narrow scope means only a focal brain structure can be regulated at any given moment, causing targeting issues to arise during treatment. Standard rTMS also has trouble stimulating deeper structures directly, which can further affect its efficacy.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an advancement on the standard, figure-8 rTMS treatment that manages to address the concerns raised with its predecessor. Deep TMS is also a non-invasive treatment that utilizes a magnetic field to safely and effectively regulate the neural activity of brain structures associated with depression, in addition to other forms of mental illness. Deep TMS does not require anesthesia or recovery, and can therefore be incorporated into an individual’s daily routine.
An NIMH study discovered that SSRIs are effective for 27.5% of patients. If SSRIs are not effective, the chances of reaching remission by the fourth attempt with medication are 7 percent. Additionally, it can take four to 8 months to discover that there is a 90% chance of treatment failure.
BrainsWay dTMS™ has FDA clearance to treat both depression and OCD. The procedure is non-invasive and highly effective. The remission rate was 60% with dTMS medication compared to 11% with medication alone. Additionally, patients whose treatments included DTMS and medicine had a 67% response rate compared to the 44% response rate of patients on medication who underwent rTMS.
BrainsWay’s patented Deep TMS™ treatment is an innovative and effective option to treat depression and OCD.
DTMS in Pasadena for OCD
The FDA recently cleared BrainsWay D™ to treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for patients who have not responded well to traditional treatment methods. BrainsWay TMS™ can reach the anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, which are associated with OCD. Deep TMS has been shown to alleviate symptoms in peer-reviewed clinical studies.
Theta Burst DTMS for MDD
The FDA has approved BrainsWay’s Theta Burst™ three-minute protocol using the DTMS system. These short sessions are shown to reduce depression, specifically, Major Depressive Disorder, significantly.