What is TMS?

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Treat depression without taking a pill.

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive, non-medication option depression treatment for patients have not found relief from antidepressant drugs. TMS therapy is an attractive option for those seeking alternative answers to the question of how to fight depression.
  • Cleared by the FDA, TMS is a process in which magnets are used to stimulate a specific area of the brain associated with controlling mood, promoting brain cell activity in the area. After repeated treatments, this stimulation can result in a decrease in depressive symptoms.
  • TMS is covered by most commercial insurance carries in addition to Oregon Health Plan, the Veteran's Administration's Tri-Care/Tri-West and Medicare. Not sure if TMS services are included in your insurance coverage? Give us a call at 503-389-3961 for a quick verification of benefits.

When thinking about how to deal with depression, side effects of treatment can be a cause for concern. The side effects of antidepressant drugs can be so disruptive that they dissuade a patient from adhering to a depression medication plan altogether. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-drug treatment option for treatment-resistant patients with few mild and short-lived side effects.

  • Unlike other, more intense therapies, TMS does not require anesthesia or hospital stays: treatment sessions are 20 minutes long and patients are able to drive themselves home after each session.
  • Patients are able to resume all normal activities after treatment and with treatment duration being so short, it is easy to fit into an average person’s full schedule. The most commonly reported side effects are scalp discomfort and/or headache.

Our Partners

At Active Recovery TMS, we have partnered with the leading TMS manufacturers, including NeuroStar Advanced Therapy and BrainsWay, to bring the latest in technology to our patients. This means we can offer both types of TMS treatment: BrainsWay’s dTMS and NeuroStar Advanced Therapy. With Deep TMS (dTMS) magnetic pulses travel more deeply, allowing the therapy to stimulate more parts of the brain and provide broader stimulation of the targeted region of the brain involved in MDD, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. NeuroStar’s rTMS treatment protocol has recently been redesigned to reduce treatment time to just under 20 minutes with some variation from patient to patient.

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  • TMS therapy was cleared by the FDA in 2008 to address symptoms of treatment-resistant depression and other severe cases where antidepressant drugs were insufficient. A 2016 research study indicated the efficacy of TMS for anxiety sufferers: 70 percent of participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder in this study showed improvements indicative of a positive treatment response, and 60 percent showed improvements consistent with a remission response.
  • Research indicates that there could be significant therapeutic value in administering TMS for OCD cases, particularly ones that are severe or drug-resistant.
  • Another potential use for TMS: PTSD treatment, particularly cases that are not responding to standard interventions. Clinical research indicates TMS can help with the reduction of PTSD cluster symptoms.
  • A small study conducted by William S. Gilmer, MD, an associate professor at Northwestern University, indicates there is high potential of TMS for bipolar disorder as a treatment that is safe and successful.
  • A 2015 study encourages additional research into TMS as a treatment for chronic tinnitus, a condition characterized by a constant ringing sound in the ears as a result of hearing loss.
  • There is evidence to support that TMS could improve motor symptoms for patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Researchers of substance abuse disorders believe that “long-term neurophysiological changes induced by [TMS] have the potential to affect behaviors [sp] relating to drug craving, intake and relapse”.
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