Since the 1980s, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been used to study the nerve fibers that carry information about movements from the brain to the spinal cord and on to the muscles. In the late 1990s, physicians began to explore the therapeutic potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of a variety of diseases, with depression being the most thoroughly studied to date. Since then, more than 20 randomized, controlled trials studying transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for depression have been published by investigators throughout the world.
Using a pulsed magnetic field, transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy stimulates the part of the brain involved with executive function and regulation of emotions. TMS therapy is a short outpatient procedure, performed in your psychiatrist’s office under his or her supervision while you remain awake and alert; there is no sedation or anesthesia involved, and no surgery or additional medication.
TMS is well-tolerated by most patients. Side effects are usually mild, and may include headache, neck stiffness, and discomfort while the magnetic field is active. Discomfort may occur under the magnetic coil, and sometimes in the face, and is temporary and usually improves early in treatment. Patients may experience muscle contraction and tearing of the eye on the side of treatment, which is also temporary. A small number of patients do not continue TMS because of side effects. There are no systemic side effects, and TMS does not impair memory, cognition, appetite or sex drive.
Who can TMS help?
Many of patients undergoing TMS treatment at our facility in New York are those that obtain inadequate relief from antidepressant medications – either they are not obtaining full resolution of symptoms or they suffer from unacceptable side effects. Under these circumstances, effective and well-tolerated solutions, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, are indispensable.
At Neighborhood Psychiatric Associates of Manhattan we use the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system, developed by Neuronetics. This is the first non-systemic (drug-free) and non-invasive depression treatment cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in NYC
Neighborhood Psychiatry has offered expertise in TMS since 2010, and our staff have considerable expertise in the treatment of depression and other mental health conditions using an array of additional approaches beyond TMS. Our treatment center is conveniently located on 39 West 14th Street, close to all the major subway lines for NYC, as well as the PATH Train to NJ, and it is a short trip from Grand Central Station, Penn Station and the Port Authority.
If you feel that transcranial magnetic stimulation may benefit you, get in touch to talk it through with one of our psychiatrists. We can help answer any questions you might have about the procedure, about insurance coverage, and about making an appointment for consultation. We are pleased to announce that we are in-network with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) Healthcare Insurance plans.