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Facts About TMS Therapy in Birmingham, AL

TMS is covered by most insurance providers including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Prior authorization is typically required for insurance coverage. Your provider will manage this process. Typically, treatment with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy may be needed before insurance will authorize TMS Therapy.

Magstim TMS Therapy Systems are indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.

The magnetic coil which delivers TMS is positioned on the head. You will hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on your head when the magnetic pulses are delivered, however it is not painful. Many patients watch television or read during treatment.

TMS has few known side effects². The most common side effects are mild scalp discomfort or headaches during treatment, but normal activities can typically be resumed immediately after treatment.

Most insurances allow for TMS treatment over a 6–7-week period, 5 times per week. Each treatment is typically around 20 minutes after your first appointment. Roughly 60% of people achieve remission after 30-36 sessions.

TMS is highly effective, but unfortunately it isn’t permanent. The remission length from depression can vary for each patient depending on their mental health needs. According to a clinical study, among people who responded to TMS initially, two-thirds continued to experience improvements after three months, and about half were still doing well after a year. A significant number of patients achieve complete remission from depression. Retreatment is often prescribed and reimbursed if you have responded to TMS therapy in the past.

Everyone’s brain is different and this will vary from person to person.

TMS has over two decades of clinical and scientific research supporting its safe use and application. FDA-cleared for the treatment of MDD, Magstim TMS Therapy is an effective, non-invasive, outpatient treatment, with few known side effects.

TMS Therapy is well tolerated for most. However, not all patients are appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy.
For example, patients with a history of seizures or who have metal implants or objects in or near their head are not appropriate candidates for TMS Therapy. To determine if TMS Therapy may be right for you, your supervising doctor or psychiatrist will carefully screen for the presence of medical conditions or metal objects which may make TMS unsuitable.

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O’Reardon, J. P., Solvason, H. B., Janicak, P. G., Sampson, S., Isenberg, K. E., Nahas, Z., … & Demitrack, M. A. (2007). Efficacy and safety of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the acute treatment of major depression: a multisite randomized controlled trial. Biological psychiatry, 62(11), 1208-1216.

Carpenter, L. L., Janicak, P. G., Aaronson, S. T., Boyadjis, T., Brock, D. G., Cook, I. A., … & Demitrack, M. A. (2012). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for major depression: a multisite, naturalistic, observational study of acute treatment outcomes in clinical practice. Depression and anxiety, 29(7), 587-596.

Rossi S, Hallett M, Rossini PM, et al. Safety, ethical considerations, and application guidelines for the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in clinical practice and research. Clin Neurophysiol 2009;120:2008–39. 

Henriques, J. B., & Davidson, R. J. (1991). Left frontal hypoactivation in depression. Journal of abnormal psychology, 100(4), 535.

De Raedt, R., Vanderhasselt, M. A., & Baeken, C. (2015). Neurostimulation as an intervention for treatment resistant depression: From research on mechanisms towards targeted neurocognitive strategies. Clinical Psychology Review, 41, 61-69.

Höflich, G., Kasper, S., Hufnagel, A., Ruhrmann, S., & Möller, H. J. (1993). Application of transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment of drugresistant major depression—a report of two cases. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 8(5), 361-365.

Gaynes, B. N., Lloyd, S. W., Lux, L., Gartlehner, G., Hansen, R. A., Brode, S., … & Lohr, K. N. (2014). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry, 75(5), 477-489.


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