TMS Therapy Research Studies

TMS Therapy is a non-drug treatment which the FDA has cleared for the treatment of depression in adult patients who have not benefited from antidepressant medication. The safety and efficacy of TMS has been established by numerous studies.

TMS Therapy works by delivering highly targeted MRI-strength magnetic pulses that stimulate the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is an area believed to be associated with mood. Patients typically receive 5 TMS Therapy treatments a week for 6 weeks in an out-patient office. Each treatment lasts approximately 45 minutes with patients awake and alert. They are able to resume normal activities immediately afterwards.

Efficacy of TMS Therapy

TMS Therapy’s efficacy has been proven through a clinical data set encompassing 6 studies with 800 patients.1,2,3,4,5,6

TMS was found to have consistent response and remission rates in a difficult to treat patient population across these studies. In a controlled trial comparing treatment with an active TMS device to an inactive device, patients received an average reduction in their depression symptom score of 22.1% compared to a 9% average reduction in patients receiving inactive treatment.2

One in two patients responded to therapy and one in three patients experienced complete resolution of symptoms.

Patients Who Are Good Candidates for TMS Therapy

TMS Therapy patients should be adults with Major Depressive Disorder. They should have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from a median of 4 antidepressant medications. (Range between 1 and 23.) They should be concerned about the side effects of medication. TMS Therapy patients should be motivated to get well.

Safety and Adherence of TMS Therapy

Less than 5% of patients discontinue therapy due to adverse events with the most common events related to pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site.7 TMS Therapy avoids many of the systemic side effects typically associated with antidepressant medications.8 There is a rare risk of seizure (0.1% of patients).

Contraindications for TMS Therapy

Patients who have magnetic-sensitive metal in their heads – such as implants, clips, stents, and devices – should not have TMS Therapy. Patients with cardiac devices or who have epilepsy or other seizure disorders may be treated with caution using TMS.

Insurance Coverage for TMS Therapy

Currently in the state of Texas, Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Tricare, and Humana cover TMS Therapy when patients meet certain criteria. We are happy to determine if your patients are covered for TMS and what the costs will be depending on the insurance. Patients may also pay out-of-pocket for care. Financing options are available.

1)  George MS, et al. (2010). Daily Left Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Sham-Controlled Randomized Trial. Arch Gen Psychiat 67(5):507-516.

2)  Demitrack MA, Thase ME (2009). Clinical Significance of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the Treatment of Pharmacoresistant Depression: Synthesis of Recent Data. Psychopharmacol Bull 42(2):5-38.

3)  Carpenter LL, et al. (2012). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice. Depress Anxiety 29(7):587–596.

4)  Avery DH, et al. (2008). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder: Clinical response in an open-label extension trial. J Clin Psychiat 69(3):441-451.

5)  Janicak PG, et al. (2010). Durability of clinical benefit with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of pharmacoresistant major depression: assessment of relapse during a 6-month, multisite, open-label study. Brain Stimul 3(4):187-199.

6)  McDonald WM, et al. (2011). Improving the Antidepressant Efficacy of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Maximizing the Number of Stimulations and Treatment Location in Treatment-Resistant Depression. Depress Anxiety 28(11):973-980.

7)  Janicak PG, et al. (2008). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the treatment of major depression: A comprehensive summary of safety experience from acute exposure, extended exposure, and during reintroduction treatment. J Clin Psychiat 69(2):222-232.\

8)  Neuronetics, Inc. Data on File