1. What is dTMS?
2. How does dTMS work?
Through an electromagnetic coil placed adjacent to a patient's scalp, brief magnetic pulses are sent to a focal area of the brain. The pulses are administered by passing high current in the specially designed coil that generates a rapid changing magnetic field, which then induce a secondary electric current in the underlying brain tissue. By modifying the function of targeted deeper brains structure, dTMS generated an outstanding treatment efficacy that is not matched by any other known TMS equipment currently on the market, according to current published scientific literature. Scientific studies also showed TMS may benefit patients suffering from different kinds of neurological or psychiatric disorders.
3. What should I expect during the procedure?
4. I heard that it hurts. Is it painful?
No, this procedure is not painful. Some patients feel a light tapping sensation on their heads from the head piece, and a small number of patients feel scalp tenderness of mild to moderate severity, but this dissipates soon after the treatment session is completely.
5. How long will the treatment take?
6. Is dTMS safe and effective?
7. Does it cause any side effects?
Very few. This procedure is not systemic, meaning it does not affect your entire body. It is a magnetic field that targets only your head, no pharmaceutical drugs will be used in this procedure. You will not have side effects such as nausea, GI distress, dry mouth, fatigue or sweating as you do with medications. There is a risk for Seizures, but since 1996, there have been only 7 known documented cases of seizures with rTMS.
8. Do I need to be sedated? Or do I need to have someone drive me home after the procedure?
You are completely awake while this procedure takes place! In fact, you can drive yourself home after the procedure, and resume your normal activities. No anesthesia will be used in this procedure.
9. Is this type of procedure legal? I heard it isn’t FDA approved.
This procedure is legal and was approved by the FDA in January 2013 for the treatment of Depression. And other studies have proven that dTMS is very useful in the management of treatment-resistant depression.
10. Do third-party payers pay for this life saving procedure?
11. I have Bipolar Disorder. I heard that it does NOT put me into mania after treatment, is that true?
This is True. The chances of Treatment-Emergent Mania (TEM) is very rare. To put it into perspective, a review was done of all the studies from 1966 to 2007 on TMS, and it was found that in the TMS treatment group 0.84% of patients had TEM. And in the Sham TMS treatment group 0.73% of patients had TEM. The short answer is, very very unlikely.
12. Do I have to take weeks and weeks of dTMS therapy? I’ve read that some places expect me to come for about 5 weeks of daily treatment and then 3 weeks of “tapering”.
No, the treatment length in dTMS goes by a case-by-case consideration, and the patient’s response to dTMS.