How does TMS work? TMS was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for the treatment of severe depression. It is a non-invasive therapeutic method that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain related to depression and depressive symptoms. Does TMS really work? Numerous studies indicate the TMS therapy success rate in treating depression is high and TMS treatment reviews anecdotally support these scientific findings.
How do we know TMS works? When measuring the severity of depression and depressive symptoms, clinicians use a tool called the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The PHQ-9 is a question-based multipurpose instrument for diagnosing, monitoring, and measuring the severity of depression. It scores the frequency of each of the nine criteria for depression within a range of 0 (“not at all”) to 3 (“nearly every day”). PHQ-9 is a self-reporting mechanism that has been assessed against a structured interview with a mental health professional. This is done to determine its validity as a diagnostic instrument. Take the Active Recovery Online PHQ-9 Test, if you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of depression and would like to learn more.
The PHQ-9 is often used as a scientific metric for the effect of a treatment on patients with major depressive disorder. Improvement over time in depressive symptoms would be indicated by progressively lower scores on the PHQ-9.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation reviews confirm that TMS is an easily-tolerated and effective method for treatment-resistant depression, with few, mild and short-lived side effects. Below are some TMS reviews and TMS therapy testimonials from patients, their loved ones, and their providers. They can offer insight into the question of “how does TMS work” and whether it’s right for your situation.