Center for Cognitive Brain Health

How long does TMS therapy last?

Your first session of TMS will last about 60 minutes: 20-30 minutes of preparation and 20-30 minutes of actual treatment. Subsequent sessions will be streamlined and should typically last 20 minutes, though the length of your session may vary depending on the treatment plan and the specific conditions being treated.

In order for treatment to be effective, we ask patients to be available 5 days a week (3 days minimum) for at least 6 weeks. A full TMS course of treatment consists of 36 treatments, with the final 6 treatments spaced out over several weeks.

What can I expect during TMS?

Your first session of TMS will involve a technician taking measurements for your personal TMS cap and asking questions pertaining to your health. After the measurements are done, the technician will take a motor threshold (MT). The MT is used to determine the intensity of your treatment. After preparations are done, you will be seated in a comfortable chair and have the option to engage in some form of entertainment of your choice (phone, books, etc). The TMS helmet will then be placed against your head and treatment will begin.

Some patients report that the pulses feel like someone “tapping” on their head. The treatment will continue to run for its prescribed time, after which the technician will remove the helmet and your cap and you will be free to continue your day.

What are the side effects of TMS?

TMS therapy has very mild side effects. The most common side effect of TMS therapy includes facial twitches during the treatment. These twitches occur only during treatment and do not continue after a TMS session. Other patients sometimes report a mild headache or some mild discomfort at the application site.

Are there any special instructions after a TMS session?

There are no special instructions following a TMS session. Since TMS does not require anesthesia or any form of sedation, you are completely fine to immediately carry on with your day as you normally would.

What happens after I finish the 36 treatments?

After you complete your 36 treatments, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with our psychiatric team. They will evaluate and interpret the data gathered during the treatments with you. Depending on how effective the treatment was, some patients may return for “touch-up” TMS treatments every few weeks or months. If TMS was ineffective, other options will be discussed, such as a change in medication or alternative therapies.

 

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