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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

For more details, please call 352-265-4TMS(4867) today.

What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an effective, safe and non-pharmaceutical treatment for depressed patients that have failed to receive adequate benefit from prior antidepressant medications. TMS works by delivering non-invasive, highly focused, magnetic pulses that stimulate the brain in the region associated with mood regulation. Patients being treated with TMS therapy do not require anesthesia or sedation and remain awake and alert. TMS is an approximately 40-minute outpatient procedure and typically is administered daily for four to six weeks.

UF Health was one of the first in the United States to offer TMS, in addition to other brain stimulation therapies. The FDA approved TMS for the treatment of major depression for those who have not achieved a response from an antidepressant medication or those who have suffered side effects from antidepressant medications.

TMS Treatment

PET Scan of BrainDuring treatment, the TMS treatment coil is gently placed on the head over the part of the brain called the dorsolateral left prefrontal cortex. The treatment coil generates rapidly alternating magnetic fields which induces electrical currents that stimulate the brain. It has been shown that this part of the brain is not active in patients suffering from depression. The magnetic pulses stimulate this region of the brain to function with normal activity. This stimulation helps regulate the imbalance of chemicals in the brain that play a role in mood regulation.

TMS requires no sedation or anesthesia. Patients walk in, receive treatment and can resume their daily activities afterward. No side effects such as weight gain, sedation, sexual side effects, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, increased anxiety, agitation or cognitive changes such as memory and concentration problems occur with TMS. The most common side effect is mild discomfort at the treatment site which usually resolves within a few treatments.

During each 40-minute treatment, patients may talk with the specially trained TMS assistant, watch movies, listen to music or read. The doctor assesses the patient daily. Throughout the treatment, specialized depression rating scales are performed to monitor progress.

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.