All posts by TMS Therapy

Q&A From Our Facebook Live Event on TMS Therapy & Depression

In a Facebook Live event today, Dr. William Sauvé, Medical Director with Greenbrook, along with Jennifer Marshall of This Is My Brave, Inc. discussed all aspects of TMS Therapy as a treatment for depression.

For those of you who tuned in to our live event, there were a few questions from our viewers that we didn’t have time to answer. We have provided the answers here.

Is this a ‘permanent’ solution? As well, are there maintenance treatments after the full treatment?
While there is no permanent cure for any mental health disorder, TMS has been shown to be effective in about 70% of patients according to FDA Clinical Trials. There is peer reviewed literature showing that 1 year post TMS about 14% of patients could have some sort of relapse of symptoms varying in severity. Should those people have additional TMS (maintenance or another acute induction) greater than 90% responded the second time around.

How experienced is Greenbrook TMS and its doctors with TMS?
Greenbrook TMS was established in 2011 and has prided itself in delivering an ultimate patient experience. Led by some of the most experienced doctors, Greenbrook TMS is the largest provider of TMS Therapy in North America with over 2500 patients and over 80,000 treatments performed …-and still growing. As a leader in the industry, Greenbrook TMS is committed to patient care.

What is the ballpark cost without insurance? Or if insurance doesn’t cover.
Across the US, an acute phase of TMS which includes 30-36 sessions runs approximately $10,000-$12,000 if a patient does not have insurance. If insurance doesn’t cover, Greenbrook typically charges the applicable insurance rates which range based on demographic region. Greenbrook also offers financing plans for private pay patients as well as patients with financial need to help cover the cost of deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

Can someone with Chiari Malformation get this treatment safely?
Per the FDA the only absolute contraindications for TMS include a history of seizure disorder and/or metallic implants in or around the head.

Can it trigger mania?
While there is not clinical trial data to confirm or deny triggering a manic episode, the TMS physician along with the patient, must determine the risk/benefit analysis. Insurance companies currently do not cover bipolar disorder as bipolar and unipolar depression are very different disease states and more clinical trials are needed to confidently answer this question. Greenbrook has successfully treated patients suffering from Bipolar II but we have exercised great caution in patients with Bipolar I.

Does United Behavioral Health cover it?
Yes, all major insurance companies cover TMS to include Medicare, Blue Cross, United, Cigna, Aetna, and Tricare.

Side effects? Anesthesia (as in ECT)?
Side effects can include headache or scalp discomfort, facial nerve twitching during pulse activation (i.e. not permanent), and a less than 1% seizure risk.
ECT requires hospitalization, anesthesia, and induces a seizure all which require significant down time and the need for a caregiver during recovery. Patients undergoing TMS are able to drive themselves in and out of their appointments and resume normal daily activities. There is no need for down time, no sedation, no systemic side effects, and no hindrance to immediately return to work, school, or take care of their families.

How soon will a patient feel relief?
Most patients can start to notice a difference in mood around session 15, or week 3. This is not applicable to all patients as each person’s response time may vary. 3-4 weeks is average. It is important to note that ups and downs in mood are to be expected while undergoing TMS and patients should relay any changes in mood and behaviors to their TMS provider.

Is anxiety treatable with TMS?
Depression and anxiety are what we call comorbid conditions and are very commonly found as dual diagnoses. Typically if TMS can alleviate depression, the anxiety component will dissipate as well. There are times where anxiety and/or panic disorder may not be a result of a unipolar depression and we have the ability to manipulate the TMS devices to include not only a stimulation effect but inhibitory pulse sequences as well. While there are many conditions TMS may be effective, the FDA and insurance companies currently state TMS is used as a treatment option for depression, although we have had success getting insurance coverage for other disease states if depression is also a component.

Can TMS be used for children too?
Currently the FDA says TMS is used for adults, however there are currently clinical trials being performed studying the adolescent population. Greenbrook has successfully treated the teenage population and found they typically respond quicker than adults, however insurance coverage is not guaranteed in this population.

Thank you for joining us and be sure to keep checking back for our next Lunch & Learn.

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Online Event: TMS Therapy for the Treatment of Depression
Tuesday, June 27th at 12 PM EST

Please join us on Tuesday, June 27th, 12:00 pm ET for our Facebook Live & Instagram Live event on TMS Therapy for the Treatment of Depression.

Dr. William Sauvé, Medical Director with Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers, along with Jennifer Marshall of This Is My Brave, Inc. will discuss all aspects of this safe & effective treatment for depression as well as answer FAQ’s about TMS Therapy.

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Patients & Providers
Invited to Open House: North Raleigh Center
Tuesday, June 13

Learn How TMS Therapy is Successfully Helping People with Depression

Please Join Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS Therapy) is helping people that are struggling with Depression. Presented by Kellie Tolin, M.D. and Waheed Bajwa, M.D., psychiatrists with Greenbrook TMS with a special interest and experience in TMS Therapy, an FDA-cleared and proven
treatment for depression. Dr. Tolin and Dr. Bajwa will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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National Suicide Prevention Week, September 5 – 11, 2016

13108_AFSP_SPW_SocialGraphic_d1Whether you have personally lost a loved one to suicide or are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and every 1 in 5 people who die by suicide are veterans. But there is always hope. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide, as well as the driving force behind National Suicide Prevention Week this September 5-11.

The best way to help yourself or a loved one is to learn about the suicide warning signs, risk factors and where to reach out for help.  Although about 75% of those who die by suicide exhibit some warning signs, it is important to be aware that some people do not show any signs at all. Recognizing the risk factors and warning signs of suicide is something we can all do to help prevent the loss of more lives, so take some time to familiarize yourself.

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Patients & Providers
Invited to Open House: Charlottesville Center
Thursday, July 28

Learn How TMS Therapy is Successfully Helping People with Depression

Greenbrook TMS NeuroHealth Centers invites Physicians and Interested People to an Info Session presented by William Sauvé, M.D., psychiatrist and Medical Director with Greenbrook TMS.  Learn how TMS Therapy is helping people struggling with Depression.  Dr. Sauvé will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Tysons Corner Open House: Thursday, April 28


Learn How TMS Therapy is Helping People with Depression

We invite you to join Dr. Geoffrey Grammar with TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy) is helping people diagnosed with Depression.  Dr. Grammer will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Columbia Open House: Thursday, April 28


Learn How TMS Therapy is Helping People with Depression

We invite you to join Dr. Hanita Chhabra with TMS NeuroHealth Centers in an informational session about how TMS Therapy (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy) is helping people diagnosed with Depression.  Dr. Chhabra will fully discuss TMS Therapy and answer any questions.

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Comedian Neal Brennan Talks Depression and How TMS Therapy Helped

BrennanComedian Neal Brennan, co-creator of Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, openly discussed his struggles with depression and his life-changing treatment with TMS Therapy in an interview for Slate Magazine’s podcast, The Gist with Mike Pesca.

Although Brennan refers to his depression as life dampening not life threatening, he has endured the illness as long as he can remember and has done several things to try and improve it.  Among the treatments include using “pretty much every medication you’ve heard of . . .”.

TMS Therapy is what finally made the difference for Brennan, and he explains how TMS Therapy was effective rather quickly and was also covered by his insurance. He said that those close to him noticed the positive changes in his demeanor, in addition to marked improvement in his creativity and productivity.  “I think I got more entertaining,” Brennan states with a laugh, adding that he’d “kill on stage 40% harder because I wasn’t sad, there was no heaviness to me.”

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Depression in Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD3Often we may feel sluggish and low in energy during inclement weather; however, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more than feeling the occasional winter or rainy day blues.  Depression related to seasonal change can be severe and affects up to 6% of the general population.  Symptoms of SAD usually manifest in the fall and continue throughout the winter months; although, some people experience symptoms beginning in the spring or summer months.  In either situation, symptoms may begin mildly and become increasingly more severe as the season progresses.

Because Seasonal Affective Disorder is a subtype of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), people often suffer with the same symptoms as in depression.

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Frequently Asked Questions About TMS Therapy

When other treatments may not be enough, physicians are prescribing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS Therapy) to treat depression. TMS Therapy is a safe and effective, FDA-cleared medical treatment for individuals diagnosed with depression that can be used in conjunction with medication or as a stand-alone treatment. It offers a non-invasive, non-systemic, and non-sedating in treating depression. TMS Therapy applies magnetic stimulation to specific areas of the brain involved in mood regulation- areas known to be underactive in people suffering with depression.

Common Patient Questions about their TMS Therapy

We have compiled several questions that patients have commonly asked TMS NeuroHealth Centers about their TMS Therapy treatment.  Whether you are a prospective patient or currently receiving TMS Therapy, we hope that you find our responses helpful.  It is important for you to personally consult with your treating physician regarding all questions that you have about your TMS Therapy treatment.

What is a TMS Therapy treatment session like?

While treatment varies by individual, a typical TMS Therapy treatment session is approximately 30-40 minutes. During treatment, patients relax in a treatment chair and remain awake and alert. The TMS Therapy device will deliver magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain known to regulate mood. These pulses will feel like tapping on the scalp. The technician can make adjustments if the taping is uncomfortable. After a treatment session, patients can immediately return to their normal routine, including driving.  Click here to learn more about a Typical Treatment Session.

When will I feel better?

When will I feel better?

The acute phase of TMS Therapy ranges from 20-30 treatments over a 4-6 week period, and since every patient is different, response time varies as well. Some patients begin noticing a reduction in depressive symptoms after week two, while others begin to feel the benefits of therapy at week 4 or 5.

How can I tell if it’s working?

Initially, most patients notice positive changes in their behavior or mood, such as getting a better night’s sleep and feeling more rested in the morning, feeling “good” about themselves, being more social, feeling ready to go back to work, or making more independent decisions. All of these incremental changes indicate improvement, and should likely progress as treatment continues—and beyond.

Do I need to continue TMS Therapy after the acute phase?

While some patients may need maintenance therapy in managing their depression, a majority of patients will not. Variables such as a patient’s available support system, sleep patterns, diet, and exercise can all influence a patient’s recovery from a depressive episode. This is why TMS NeuroHealth Centers works with each patient to help them understand their situation, recognize potential triggers, identify a support system, and find the right combination of diet and exercise to help maintain their improved mood.

I’m feeling more depressed/anxious/having trouble sleeping after my TMS Therapy sessions. Is this normal?

Dips in mood and irregular sleep patterns are common among patients with depression, and while they are also common among new patients undergoing TMS Therapy, it’s important for you to speak with your TMS Therapy provider about any emotional or physical changes you experience throughout treatment.

My last TMS Therapy session is almost here—and I’m nervous about ending treatment. What should I do?

It is not uncommon for patients to report feeling nervous that their treatment is nearing completion, especially when having made improvement in their mood and quality of life. Seek guidance and support from your TMS Therapy provider, treating psychiatrist, therapist and loved ones to develop strategies that will help you navigate your feelings during this transitory period from the near ending of treatment to its conclusion and beyond. With guidance, it is also important to develop strategies that support a healthy quality of life post-treatment, such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition plan, psychotherapy (if indicated), and enriching social activities. Positive and activating lifestyle strategies will be of great benefit to you in maintaining your improvement or remission from depression.

If your current treatment is not enough, contact us at 1-855-333-4867 or visit TMS NeuroHealth Centers at www.tmsneuro.comWe provide a Free Consultation!

If you have questions about TMS Therapy or would like to share your experience, we welcome your input below.  Thank you for joining our conversation.

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