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Common Questions About TMS: Side Effects, Cost & More

Common Questions About TMS: Side Effects, Cost & More

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy for treating the symptoms of depression is gaining popularity after being approved by the FDA as a treatment. However, with new forms of treatments and therapies, there are always questions about what it is, how it works, and whether it’s right for you. Today we’ll be discussing some of the most common questions we get from prospective patients and clearing some of the misunderstandings about TMS!

How much does TMS cost?

The honest answer is it depends. It all begins with a consultation to determine if you’re the right fit for TMS therapy. There is no single treatment regimen that works for everyone, as depression symptoms vary from individual to individual. This is why some patients may need more or fewer sessions than others. If you were to pay in cash, it could cost several hundred dollars per session. However, many insurance companies today cover the cost of TMS fully, meaning there is a good chance that there is no out-of-pocket expenses for those who need treatment.

What are the side effects of TMS? 

As a non-invasive and non-medical treatment, there are no side effects like medication or electroconvulsive therapy would cause. In fact, most patients report no effects when undergoing a session. Some have noticed a light ‘tapping’ or ‘knocking’ sensation, slight discomfort, or even tingling near the head and face. However, this is well-tolerated and any effects go away over the course of the treatment. 

Does TMS treat anxiety?

Yes, it does! Of course, any TMS provider would begin any treatment with a consultation to determine if it is the right option for you, but TMS therapy has been found to be effective with many types of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  If you believe you are experiencing any of these conditions, TMS could be the non-invasive answer you’re looking for.

I’ve heard about unilateral and bilateral TMS. What are they and what’s the difference?

Conventional TMS is unilateral, meaning it is applied to the left side of the brain, in the area known as the frontal cortex. This works by enhancing this part of the brain in order to restore normal brain functionality. It’s an effective TMS therapy that has worked wonders for patients for years.

Bilateral TMS is a more recent and improved form of the treatment. As the word ‘bilateral’ suggests, we apply the same TMS technology on both sides of the brain as opposed to just the left. This allows us to further enhance brain functionality by working on both hemispheres of the brain. In one study conducted on the efficacy of TMS, it was found that bilateral TMS was able to reduce suicidal thoughts in 40.4% of patients, compared to 26.8% in patients who only received unilateral TMS.

Does TMS therapy work with addiction?

The science into TMS continues, but early evidence indicates that it does. One study conducted on cocaine addicts, TMS was found to reduce cravings in the group that received TMS compared to the placebo group. More study is needed in this area but the latest studies are proving positive for addiction treatment. 

To learn more about TMS, please contact us at the Yang Institute and schedule an appointment. No matter if you or a loved one is suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or addiction, we are happy to help and determine if TMS is the right treatment option for you. No matter if you have tried other forms of treatment including medication and ECT, TMS may be the alternative treatment option you are looking for.