TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, has been making massive waves in the mental health care field. Patients are finally finding resolve and relief from depressive symptoms that have plagued them for years. This is leaving practitioners and patients optimistic and wondering just how long these effects of TMS will last?
How Long Do The Effects of TMS Last?
Is it truly a long-lasting or even permanent solution for certain mental illnesses? Let’s take a brief look at transcranial magnetic stimulation as a whole, how many sessions patients typically need, as well as a crucial study on the long-term effects of this treatment.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a magnetic pulse therapy that stimulates certain areas of the brain related to mood regulation. A small electromagnetic coil is placed on the head that provides these pulses, similar to an MRI machine. Neurotransmitters are released that have the potential to cause a transformation in a patient’s activity patterns within their brain.
This therapy is being used to treat depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s, and addiction. It’s typically used for those resistant to other conventional treatments, such as medications. Other patients may use it in conjunction with medications, talk therapy, or other alternative therapies. Both cases are finding wonderful results. It’s been proven to be a safe and effective way to relieve depression sufferers of their symptoms.
How many sessions are needed?
Everyone experiences TMS differently and at different rates. Many patients report feeling changes within just the first few sessions, while others need several sessions over a longer period of time to feel any relief. This begs the question, will this mean that these effects will continue over time? Research is showing that how long it takes entirely depends on factors like brain chemistry, age, medications, etc. These factors will be discussed and taken into account by your healthcare provider and a comprehensive and detailed plan will be developed and implemented.
A session of TMS usually lasts between 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the individual. The first cycle of treatment will consist of about 5 sessions a week for about 4 to 6 weeks. If results are slight or unsatisfactory, a patient has the option to go ahead with another cycle of sessions. During this second cycle, treatments will be cut down to around 2 to 3 times a week. Treatment plans will vary depending on the patient’s background and how they’re responding to it.
How long will the effects last?
According to Madison Avenue TMS and Psychiatry, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry published a study in 2014 regarding the lasting effects of TMS therapy. 257 patients with major depressive disorder were administered six-week sessions of TMS. These patients, in particular, we’re unable to experience relief with antidepressants. Over the course of the 52-week experiment, the patients were given an initial assessment, as well as follow-ups every three months, six months, nine months, and 12 months.
After the six-week session was wrapped up, 120 of the 257 participants achieved remission. They either experienced relief from their depressive symptoms or were free of them completely. Madison Ave declared, “the results of this study showed that 62.5 percent of study participants who achieved remission after TMS continued to show signs of response to treatment and/or remission one year after treatment.” Although there still is no definitive answer of how long TMS effects will last, this was a profound and promising study for the lasting effects of TMS.
The final verdict
So what’s the verdict? How long will TMS effects actually last? Essentially, this is going to vary from person to person. Some patients are seeing slight to significant improvements in the long haul, while others are experiencing complete remission. More research and studies are being done to determine the long-term benefits and effects of TMS, but so far, the data is looking hopeful.
If you or your loved one is struggling with depression and aren’t finding relief through medications or psychotherapy, TMS may provide it for you once and for all.
TMS Institute of Great Plains Mental Health
Paula Whittle, PMHNP, and Dr. James Sorrell believe that mental health should be considered as a primary driver for one’s overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally. At TMS Institute of GPMH, we want to make sure your connection to the world you live in is addressed – to change the order to … SPIRIT, MIND, and BODY. As a result, we believe when people are treated in this order they feel better, more at peace, and much stronger to face life’s challenges. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS therapy), the most advanced form of depression treatment, offers us the ability to enhance our patient outcomes following our philosophy of a holistic approach to treating mental health conditions.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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