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A history of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Believe it or not, the science behind electrical stimulation of the nerves and muscles has been around since the 1790’s when Galvani and Volta experimented with bioelectricity and discovered that the nerves were not water pipes as Descartes thought, but electrical conductors carrying information within the nervous system.

It wasn’t until 1831 that Michael Faraday discovered the fundamental principles of electromagnetic induction while attempting to stimulate nerves and the brain. While his attempts were unsuccessful due to the lack of proper technology to generate the large and rapidly changing fields necessary, his advances led to the first successful Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in 1985. This opened doors for a widespread variety of diagnosis and therapy procedures for a variety of diseases, with depression being the most studied area.

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TMS NeuroHealth Centers: First Non-Drug Treatment for Depression Center in Tyson’s Corner

TMS NeuroHealth Centers LogoIt is now official! Our first TMS NeuroHealth Center is open for business. The first of a national network of centers offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy, Tyson’s Corner (McLean, Virginia) opened its doors in November, 2011.

TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive medical treatment for patients with depression without any of the side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medication, such as weight gain, sexual problems or fatigue.  It uses highly focused magnetic pulses to gently stimulate the area of the brain that controls mood.  This specific area has been identified as under active in people who suffer from depression.  Stimulation leads to the release of chemical neurotransmitters, relieving the symptoms of depression.

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Can magnetic pulses really hold the answer to Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Patients and doctors call it “simple yet incredibly efficient”, “gentle, painless, quick”; many others simply call it “unbelievable”. Truth is that TMS Therapy is the result of almost 3 decades of nerve and brain research that led to the exploration of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of a variety of diseases during the late 90s. Since then, more than 30 randomized, controlled trials have studied TMS Therapy and produced medical publications by investigators throughout the world.

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A depression treatment that won’t break the bank

TMS costs depression treatment expensesDepression hurts in many ways, and one of them is financially. In 2000, it was concluded that the economic burden of depression for patients with treatment-resistant depression was $83.1 billion in the United States alone – this was 2 to 6 times greater than for patients not suffering from treatment-resistant depression.

The economic burden of depression is not only measured on the cost of treatment and medication, but also the costs on loss of productivity and caregiver costs. Such costs were taken into account during an open-label condition study comparing TMS Therapy (with an average reimbursement rate of $350 per treatment session) to anti-depressant medication treatment.

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2 in 3 patients report a reduction in depression scores after TMS Therapy

Did you know?

  • Medication has unbearable physical side effects; sexual dysfunction, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, weight gain, suicidal thoughts, and more.
  • ECT patients tend to relapse within 6 months and there has been controversy over the negative effects on brain structure, memory, and general cognition.

patient doctor tms depression treatmentNew results presented at the American Psychiatric Association Meeting in Hawaii back in May of this year match those of observed patients treated in a controlled clinical trial setting. The results were measured using two scales; the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms Self-Report Scale (IDS-SR) which showed that 1 in 2 patients (53.6%) responded to TMS therapy while 1 in 3 (35.1%) achieved remission by the end of acute treatment. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire Nine item scale (PHQ-9) presented similar positive results with 2 in 3 patients (66.7%) reported no or only mild depression.

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TMS Therapy changes lives with no surgery, no sedation, and no meds

You’ve all heard of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) where patients are first anesthetized and then clonic seizures are electrically induced as treatment for severe depression that has not responded to other treatments. The patient loses consciousness and has convulsions lasting for at least 15 seconds. In addition, half of the patients who remit tend to relapse within six months of ECT and there has been controversy over the negative effects on brain structure, memory, and general cognition.

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The truth behind anti-depressants

side effects of antidepressant medicationDepression treatments based on medication have long been known to cause more harm than good on certain patients. There are numerous medical articles and papers that show that fewer than 50% of people become symptom free on antidepressants and the chances of relapse can reach 80%, despite being on a monitored drug treatment. Also important is the addicting qualities of most antidepressants, and withdrawal could trigger newer symptoms or increase old ones.


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Is TMS Therapy right for you?

Is TMS therapy right for you?

Is TMS therapy right for you?

Are you taking too much medication to treat your depression?

Has it been difficult to determine which anti-depressant is right for you?

Do you think depression has too much control over your life?




If you can identify with the questions above, you should keep reading and find out more about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). TMS is an FDA cleared treatment for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant treatment.

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