How Does TMS Therapy? Work in the Brain?

Jan 31, 2022
How Does TMS Therapy? Work in the Brain?
At Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy in Aurora, IL, we understand the challenges mental illnesses pose on daily function.

At Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy in Aurora, IL, we understand the challenges mental illnesses pose on daily function. Dr. Babatunde Ogundipe is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who specializes in a wide array of mental health disorders and takes pride in helping her patients succeed in treatment and achieve their personal goals. Dr. Ogundipe and our expert team offer multiple treatment options, including TMS therapy, to address persistent mental illness symptoms that are challenging to treat with traditional approaches.

What is TMS therapy, and how does it work in the brain?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a noninvasive treatment that applies magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This stimulation process is used to address symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses when traditional treatment options have proven ineffective. For depression, personalized treatment sessions usually involve repetitive pulse delivery, called repetitive TMS or rTMS.

What conditions can be treated with TMS therapy?

Although TMS therapy is commonly used for major depression, research has shown some promise in TMS therapy being effective for the following:

  • Mood disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Chronic pain

Am I an ideal candidate for TMS therapy?

If you are living with symptoms of major depression and typical medications and therapies have not been effective in alleviating symptoms, then TMS therapy may be right for you. Common symptoms of major depression include:

  • Daily loss of energy or fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Poor concentration
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Significant weight changes
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Are there certain individuals who should not participate in TMS therapy?

Dr. Ogundipe performs initial examinations and collects a detailed medical history from each patient to help them determine if TMS therapy is the right treatment course for them. Certain medical conditions and post-surgical devices may exclude patients from treatment, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Stents
  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Pacemakers
  • Medication pumps
  • History of seizures
  • History of bipolar disorder, substance misuse, or other forms of psychosis
  • History of brain damage including stroke, tumor, or traumatic injury
  • Chronic severe headaches
  • Prior TMS treatment that was ineffective

How is the treatment performed?

TMS therapy is conducted in one of our private treatment rooms at Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy in Aurora, IL. The patient lies down and has a magnetic coil placed against the scalp near the forehead. Although the science behind TMS therapy is not fully understood, the theory is that the coil delivers electromagnetic impulses to regions of the brain involved in mood control and depression. Repetitive impulses appear to ease symptoms of depression. TMS therapy sessions take approximately 40 minutes to complete and do not require anesthesia or sedation. Patients can return home the same day as treatment.

Are there any side effects from TMS therapy?

Like any treatment, patients can expect side effects, depending on their medical history and unique reactions to TMS therapy. Common side effects may include:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Scalp discomfort
  • Numbness and tingling of the head
  • Facial spasms or twitches

These side effects tend to lessen with each treatment session. Rare side effects include seizures, mania, and hearing loss. It’s essential for patients to provide Dr. Ogundipe with detailed medical information and their personal history to optimize results and prevent unwanted side effects.

Is TMS therapy covered by insurance?

TMS therapy can be covered by medical insurance if patients meet certain qualifications. Currently, most insurance companies typically cover TMS therapy for the treatment of major depression and not other mental illnesses. Certain factors may disqualify patients from TMS therapy coverage, including substance misuse, history of medical device implants, acute risk for suicide, and certain neurological conditions. At Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy, our team works with each patient by helping them determine insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses before performing treatments.

Learn more about TMS therapy

If you are living with major depression or other debilitating mental illnesses and have tried traditional medical and therapy approaches with little success, contact our team at Holistic Behavioral and TMS Therapy in Aurora, IL, and schedule a TMS therapy consultation with Dr. Babatunde Ogundipe today. Dr. Ogundipe will listen to your goals, collect your medical information, and help you determine if TMS is right for you.