HOPE - Life without Depression

Depending on your prescription, you will receive left-sided, right-sided, or combination NeuroStar TMS Therapy treatment.

Plan for one hour each day. Although the actual TMS treatment time varies from 35 to 55 minutes, you will spend some time talking to your Certified TMS Specialist who administers the treatment, getting into your "36-day comfortable" position, and you may want to take a few minutes to relax in the chair or in the waiting room once your treatment is finished and before you head out.

Everyday, by the time you arrive for your treatment, the Certified TMS Specialist will have the TMS Therapy System ready and waiting for you. We must verify that you have not changed your medication, that there are no problems that could affect the treatment, and that you are not wearing any metal on or around your head by mistake. Once the Head Support System is installed and the coil is on the proper location (we confirm every parameter at least twice), then your treatment will start.

Active TMS Therapy magnetic coil on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Click on the image for a larger view 
You will hear a series of loud clicks, usually in "trains" of 40 pulses in 4 seconds with about half a minute of rest. Some patients may refer local discomfort. Our experience indicates that this discomfort dissapears over time and, with the permission of the physician-in-charge, you may take an over-the-counter analgesic. Any other discomfort, if any, will be addressed by your TMS Specialist.

You will be given the option to watch TV, listen to an audio CD, or meditate in silence. Every patient is different and we are prepared for you. Once a week you will answer a short questionnaire that we use to track your advance.

What to expect?

In our experience, most patients are not aware of their improvement in the initial stages of the treatment. Their first indication of improvement comes from friends, colleagues, and family who report to them the changes they see. Most common are the changes in appearance, gait, stance. increased energy, etc.

While we would like to have everybody improve at a fast rate, all patients are different. Most will have a constant, steady improvement curve. Some will "plateau" for a week, maybe two, and then continue to improve. Studies and references of patients treated at our facilities and other TMS Therapy institutions support these statements.

What are the side effects of TMS?

The most common complaint TMS patients refer is discomfort  on the scalp region where the NeuroStar magnetic coil is placed. For a detailed explanation of the causes for this discomfort and other potential side effects click here.

Will you need to do another brain mapping session?

Usually not, but on a case-by-case basis we may determine the need for a new brain mapping session. This may be due to a change in medication or to determine a newer, better dosage or intensity of the TMS magnetic coil.

What happens if I miss a TMS Therapy treatment session?

Relax, nothing bad happens. While we would like to maintain the sequence of treatment, experience indicates that missing a session does not affect outcome. If you cannot make it to your treatment, you need to call our office as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements.


Next step: The taper phase