TMS Depression Treatment | The Retreat | The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

The TMS Program

Sheppard Pratt Health System is proud to be one of the first sites in the country offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy to treat depression. NeuroStar TMS Therapy® was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from an adequate course of antidepressant medication. Sheppard Pratt was one of twenty research sites who participated in the clinical trial on TMS. NeuroStar TMS Therapy® is administered in Sheppard Pratt’s Retreat on the Towson campus by specially credentialed psychiatrists and nurses.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy® treatments can be administered on Retreat residents or outpatients. Outside psychiatrists referring patients for TMS therapy will continue to be involved in their care during and after the TMS therapy. The Sheppard Pratt psychiatrist is available to the referrer and the patient to discuss any questions about NeuroStar TMS Therapy® which may arise.

Individuals wishing to learn more about how they can access services should call 410-938-4037.

TMS Treatments - The Procedure

  1. During NeuroStar TMS Therapy®, magnetic field pulses are generated and aimed an area of the brain that has been demonstrated to function abnormally in patients with depression and mood regulation. This magnetic field is the same type and strength as those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
  2. The pulses of magnetic fields move into the brain and produce small electrical currents. These electrical currents physiologically activate brain cells.
    1. The amount of electricity created is very small and cannot be felt by the patient, but the electric charges cause the neurons to become active and are thought to lead to the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinepherine and dopamine.
  3. The standard treatment is a 40-minute outpatient procedure that is performed under the supervision of a psychiatrist without use of anesthesia or sedation – patients remain awake and alert during the procedure.

The number of treatments recommended is based on the individual patient’s need and response to the treatment. For most patients, treatment is administered daily for four to six weeks (20-30 treatments).

Common Side Effects

In clinical trials, approximately 1 out of 2 patients treated with NeuroStar TMS Therapy® experienced significant improvement in depression symptoms without experiencing side effects. The most commonly reported side effect related to treatment was scalp pain or discomfort during the treatment session. This side effect was generally mild to moderate, and occurred less frequently after the first week of treatment.

To learn more about the NeuroStar TMS Therapy System, visit the official Neuronetics website.

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