FAQs about dTMS – Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Being fully informed of your treatment options is a top priority at CPCH. We want to make sure you’re well aware of your treatment options and any side effects you may experience. Here are some frequently asked questions about dTMS.

Q: What is dTMS?
A: dTMS stands for Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a type of treatment that uses magnetic fields outside of the head to activate electrical fields in the brain.

Q: What does it treat?
A: Currently, dTMS is FDA-approved as a treatment for depression. It is being tested as a treatment in other conditions like PTSD, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, and bipolar disorder.

Q: Who should consider dTMS as a treatment option?
A: If you have depression that has not responded to medication and psychotherapy, then you may be a good candidate for dTMS. Some people try dTMS instead of medication for depression.

Q: Who should not consider dTMS as a treatment option?
A: If you have a history of recent seizure disorder or you have metal in your head (not including routine dental work metal), you are not a candidate for dTMS.

Q: Does insurance cover dTMS treatment?
A: Sometimes. You have to speak directly with your insurer to find out if you are covered.

Q: What are the side effects of dTMS treatment?
A: The most common side effect is a mild headache that can be treated with over the counter pain medication. Typically, this happens on the first few days of treatment, then goes away.

Q: What percentage of people get better using dTMS?
A: In our practice, about 60-65% of patients who complete dTMS show a response to the treatment (50% improvement in their depression symptoms). About 30-35% of patients who complete dTMS enter remission from depression (complete improvement in their depression symptoms).

Q: Do people continue using dTMS after their initial treatment is over?
A: We generally recommend that patients complete a taper after completing a course of dTMS. Everyone is different, but it seems like monthly maintenance sessions may help people avoid further depressive episodes.

Q: Can people take medications while doing dTMS?
A: Yes.

Q: If someone responds to dTMS are they likely to respond in the future?
A: Recent evidence suggests that if you respond the first time to dTMS, you can repeat dTMS in the future and are likely to respond again.

If you would like more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at 919-636-5240.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne

Author
Dr. Jennie Byrne, M.D., PhD.

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