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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS Therapy–Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation–is a safe, effective treatment for depression and has been changing lives for those suffering from depression throughout the country. TMS is for people whose depression symptoms have not been helped by medication, or for people who cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressants.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

The area of the brain that is thought to control mood – the prefrontal cortex – is underactive in people with depression. TMS uses highly focused magnetic pulses to stimulate this area, restoring it to normal function and lifting depression symptoms. TMS is approved by the FDA.

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Avera Medical Minute: TMS Therapy

What is treatment like?

  • TMS involves less than an hour-long visit every day Monday through Friday for 4-6 weeks.
  • The patient sits in a reclining chair in a calming environment. The TMS magnetic coil is placed against the patient’s head.
  • The patient hears a clicking sound and feels a tapping sensation on the head.
  • No anesthesia is needed – patients are awake and alert.
  • Patients may return to normal activity immediately after treatment.
  • The procedure is completely non-drug and non-invasive.

How effective are TMS treatments?

Many people experience significant benefits. In clinical trials, 1 in 2 patients improved significantly, and 1 in 3 patients were completely free of symptoms. TMS may be combined with medication and psychotherapy for maximum benefit and continued remission from depression.

Are there any risks?

  • TMS is very safe. The technology is similar to MRI, which has a long-term record of safety.
  • Patients may feel some discomfort on the scalp, felt the most at the first treatment and less and less as treatment continues.
  • There is a rare chance of seizures (about 1 in 30,000).


TMS Patient Testimonials
Learn how TMS Therapy has helped Abby cope and helped treat her battle with depression.

See Abby's Story

TMS helped a depression patient find new hope
TMS Therapy brought relief from her depression and hope that her life would get better.

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