What is Deep TMS?
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) is a noninvasive technique used to apply brief magnetic pulses to the brain. The pulses are administered by passing high currents through an electromagnetic coil placed adjacent to a patient’s scalp. The pulses induce an electric field in the underlying brain tissue. When the induced field is above a certain threshold and is directed in an appropriate orientation relative to the brains’ neuronal pathways, the neurons in the relevant brain structure are activated.
Is Deep TMS approved?
The Brainsway Deep TMS System is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depressive episodes in adult patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder who failed to achieve satisfactory improvement with any number of antidepressants trials for the current episode of depression.
What should I expect in a Deep TMS session?
Deep TMS is administered by Dr. Winston and our Deep TMS Certified Technician. During the first Deep TMS therapy session, a magnetic coil inside a helmet will be placed over the patient’s head. To calibrate the intensity of Deep TMS an individual patient requires, will stimulate the region of the patient’s brain that makes the thumb move. Patients hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on the scalp. The device is adjusted to give just enough energy to send electromagnetic pulses into the brain so that the thumb twitches. The intensity of stimulation that barely produces a movement is called the motor threshold (MT). Once the MT is determined, the magnetic coil will be moved to the location of the brain research suggests may be responsible for causing depression. How often a patient’s MT is re-evaluated is determined by the physician who prescribes the treatment.
The treatment session is delivered as a series of pulses that last 2 seconds, with a resting period of 20 seconds between each pulse sequence, for a total of 1,980 pulses. Treatment is targeted to the region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or the left frontal part of the brain. Each daily treatment lasts approximately 20 minutes and are usually completed over a 6-9 week period. Dr. Winston or one of his associates will meet with each patient weekly to determine the number of sessions required. Daily sessions are conducted Monday through Friday, excluding holidays when our clinic is closed. Dr. Winston or one of his associates meet with each patient weekly, during the course of Deep TMS treatments, to answer questions and coordinate treatment.
This treatment does not involve any anesthesia or sedation and patients remain awake and alert during each treatment. Patients are able to drive themselves to and from appointments. Throughout the course of treatment, patients are regularly evaluated by their healthcare provider.
How are referring psychiatrists or healthcare providers involved?
The Texas TMS Center works with referring psychiatrists and other healthcare providers to ensure open and efficient communication about patient progress in Deep TMS therapy. Patients maintain their ongoing relationships with their current psychiatrist or healthcare provider, and our Deep TMS coordinator ensures that all relevant information regarding patient treatment is sent directly to the referring healthcare provider in a timely manner. Once treatment is complete, our patients return for follow up care to their psychiatrist or another healthcare provider.
If you are a healthcare provider, visit our provider page to learn more.