How Long Do the Effects of TMS Treatment Last?


Nearly seven percent of American adults struggle with depression each year. It’s a disease that can feel inescapable at times.

When medications and therapy just aren’t getting the results you want, it can feel like you’re out of options. 

That’s where TMS treatments come in. A relatively new option, many are still apprehensive about whether TMS is truly effective. Moreover, some question how long the effects of TMS treatment last.

That’s what we are here to answer today. Read on to find out what TMS is and how effective it can be. 

What is TMS Treatment?

TMS is short for transcranial magnetic stimulation. While the name sounds very scientific and perhaps a little scary, it’s completely safe and non-invasive. 

TMS directs recurring magnetic energy pulses to the parts of your brain which guide mood control. These pulses pass painlessly and harmlessly through your skull.

The idea of magnetic pulses probably conjures up some scary images, but don’t worry. The pulses you feel during TMS are no more harmful than ones you are exposed to during an MRI. 

There are no sedatives needed, nor will you feel any lasting physical effects afterward.

TMS stimulates brain cells so that it improves communication in other parts of your brain. TMS pulses that pass at regular intervals are known as repetitive TMS or rTMS. 

What is TMS Used For?

In the United States, TMS has been cleared by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to treat major depressive disorders. 

Many go to a non-drug option when traditional treatment options have proven ineffective or the side effects have become too severe. 

In Europe, however, TMS has been approved to treat several different conditions. These include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • OCD and other anxiety disorders

As such, TMS is trusted in countries for both mental and physical disorders. 

How Does TMS Work?

When using TMS treatment for depression, we know that those who suffer from it have low activity in parts of the brain involved in mood regulation. TMS, therefore, stimulates those areas. 

In other words, it “resets” the brain and decreases some of the effects of depression.

Basic TMS treatments have small electromagnetic coils lightly placed on the patient’s head. Then, magnetic pulses are delivered to a specific area of their brain as a stimulant. 

Like we mentioned earlier, these pulses are harmless and are similar to an MRI than to anything else. This drug-free, painless, and safe procedure takes about 30 to 40 minutes. We recommend that you undergo the procedure about five times for a stretch of four to six weeks. 

Whether or not someone feels the positive effects of TMS relatively quickly differs from person to person. Some might need a few weeks, while others will feel the effects in only a couple of hours. How TMS will affect you is assessed by your TMS physician. 

What Devices Are Used in TMS?

You may be asking: “What incredible machines conduct TMS?” There are a few different types of machines. 

Some TMS devices include:

Surface TMS

Surface TMS devices use a figure 8 magnetic coil. They penetrate about 0.6 inches underneath the skull to get to brain regions. 

Deep TMS

Deep TMS, as the name suggests, penetrate deeper into the skull, about 1.6 inches all told. It uses a larger H-coil that makes for greater magnetic energy to get deeper into the brain. 

Rabid TBS

Rabid theta-burst therapy devices are quicker than the TMS devices mentioned above but are just as reliable and safe. Sessions with rabid TBS take about 3 to 6 minutes rather than the 20 or 40 required by other TMS devices. 

Simple brain stimulation devices are also available, but many haven’t been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. How effective they are, we still don’t know. 

When consulting your physician about CMS, make sure you know what devices are being used and which ones are appropriate for your condition. 

How Long Do the Effects of TMS Treatment Last?

While TMS is entirely safe and reliable, it can be a time commitment. Many want to guarantee that it will be effective.

TMS isn’t a cure for depression, but it can help you manage your symptoms. Aside from the physiological aspects of depression, things like your social and family life can affect your moods. 

With that said, TMS has yielded positive results in recent years. Many have noted improved changes in their lives after taking on the treatment, particularly those who’ve tried other forms of treatment.

In terms of how long the effects of TMS treatments last, it all depends. Depression is complicated, and the combination of social and physical factors can determine how effective TMS can be. 

Your brain reacts to things differently than other people, so gauging how long the effects of TMS treatments last will be quite variable. 

Patients of TMS treatment report that they experience life improvement results lasting six months, up to a year after treatment. A report from 2013 found that about 60% of those who took on TMS treatment cited improved mental states after a year, while the rest reported complete remission. 

TMS treatment is not the be-all and end-all. It’s reductive to frame it as a last resort for those suffering from depression. 

Instead, it’s something that individuals can turn to when they feel like their depression treatments aren’t enough. When safely combined with other forms of treatment, whether that be medication or therapy, it can elevate your results.

It’s brought tremendous amounts of happiness and success to chronic depression patients, which is why it’s worth considering despite slight variability in how long the results last.

Leverage the Benefits of TMS Today

If you’re considering TMS, you understandably will have wanted to know how long the effects of TMS treatment last. Hopefully, this article can inform you and others about how long these effects last and how they can positively affect your lives today. 

Are you searching for reliable TMS therapy in the New Jersey area? Contact us today, and we’ll provide the right solution.

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