TMS Therapy for Refractory Depression
There's new hope for people with refractory depression, or depression that doesn't respond to conventional treatment. Psychiatry and behavioral health specialists at The University of Kansas Health System are offering a new, drug-free therapy called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) – an FDA-cleared, noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic energy to stimulate brain cells and improve symptoms of depression.
The innovative design of NeuroStar® TMS Therapy ensures that the right treatment dose is delivered to the right parts of the brain every time. Specially contoured electromagnetic coils are properly positioned on the scalp by a trained professional in a clinical setting. When activated, they precisely deliver stimulation to the brain, resulting in safe, targeted, full-strength treatment for effective results, even if the patient happens to move during the treatment session.
How it works
TMS uses magnetic pulses, similar to those used in MRI technology, to stimulate parts of the brain that are underactive in patients with depression. Patients are alert throughout the treatment, which is conducted in a physician's office. Treatment takes about 17-30 minutes per session, with 5 sessions performed each week for 4-6 weeks. Patients can resume normal activities immediately after each treatment.
In clinical studies, those who received treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy reported improvements in depression symptoms after 4-6 weeks. Additionally:
- 1 in 2 patients experienced significant improvement
- 1 in 3 patients was symptom-free
Side effects from TMS treatment are minimal and can include mild-to-moderate pain or discomfort at the treatment site. TMS can safely be used with or without antidepressant medications. For some patients, TMS therapy can provide a treatment option without the side effects associated with antidepressant medication.
Expert care team
At The University of Kansas Health System, TMS therapy is provided by an expert team of psychiatric and behavioral health specialists – the largest, most preferred practice of its type in Kansas. The team includes board-certified and Spanish-speaking specialists.