Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, safe, and effective procedure for depression that is used when other treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy, aren’t successful. This FDA-approved treatment for depression uses magnetic fields to stimulate the area of the brain thought to be responsible for mood disorders.
This area, which is called the prefrontal cortex, tends to be underactive when someone is experiencing depressive episodes. By delivering focused magnetic pulses to the prefrontal cortex, TMS can help generate an electric current in the brain and cause the area’s neurons to begin firing. Stimulating this area can restore normal function, reducing symptoms and improving emotional judgment and mood.
TMS is clinically proven to be effective, and it does not produce the systemic side effects that are common with other therapies like antidepressants and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Also, unlike ECT, patients will remain awake throughout the entire TMS treatment.