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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

What is TMS?

TMS is a safe and effective treatment for major depression and major depressive disorder.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation and therapy is an FDA-approved, noninvasive treatment for people with major depression who have not benefited from antidepressant medications. TMS and deep TMS are available by prescription only and are delivered under the supervision of a board-certified psychiatrist. TMS targets the key area in the brain that controls mood, the prefrontal cortex. This area is known to be underactive when someone is suffering from major depression. Using focused magnetic pulses to stimulate that area, TMS restores normal function and reduces the symptoms of depression.

Clinical trials have proved the effectiveness of TMS in treating patients with major depression. One out of two patients improved significantly, and one out of three patients was free of depression symptoms completely.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Quick Facts

PET Scan of BrainTMS treatments are free of side effects typically experienced with antidepressant medications.

  • Each TMS treatment takes less than an hour and is conducted in a doctor’s office, five days a week, for approximately four to six weeks.
  • People receiving TMS treatment are awake and alert. They can speak with the doctor or clinician any time during treatment.
  • After a TMS treatment, people can return to normal activities immediately.
  • A person receiving TMS treatment will have a noninvasive device containing a magnetic coil placed on the head while made comfortable in a treatment chair.
  • People may hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation during TMS treatment.
  • TMS is covered by some insurance plans.

Insurance & Payment

Insurance companies determine eligibility for TMS on an individual basis. The initial evaluation for TMS therapy usually is covered by insurances. UF offers payment plans for TMS treatment.