TMS is a non-invasive method of brain stimulation that relies on electromagnetic induction using an insulated coil placed over the scalp, focused on an area of the brain thought to play a role in mood regulation.

The coil generates brief magnetic pulses, which pass easily and painlessly through the skull and into the brain. The pulses generated are of the same type and strength as those generated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. When these pulses are administered in rapid succession, it is referred to as “repetitive TMS “ or “rTMS”, which can produce longer lasting changes in brain activity.

TMS has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated procedure that can be an effective treatment for patients with depression who have not benefitted from antidepressant medications or cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side-effects. TMS was FDA-cleared in 2008.

Advantages of TMS include:

  • FDA-cleared and proven
  • Not medication-based
  • Non-sedating
  • Non-invasive
  • Safe
  • Well tolerated (fewer than 5% of patients discontinue treatment due to adverse effects)
  • Covered by all major insurance providers

PET Scan of Depression

A PET scan measures vital functions such as blood flow, oxygen use and blood sugar (glucose) metabolism.






Source: Mark George, M. D. Biological Psychiatry Branch Division of Intramural Research Programs, NIMH 1993

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