Repetitive TMS (rTMS) for Depression in Saratoga Springs, NY

Depression doesn’t have to rule your life. New hope is on the horizon.

For more than 20 years, Manuel Astruc, M.D. & Associates, has helped people just like you. Today, we are the only provider in Saratoga County offering transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

This process allows clients to reclaim their energy, lift their mood, and feel better.

What Is Repetitive TMS (rTMS), and How Does It Work?

TMS includes rTMS and theta bursts, which are “protocols” for how pulses are delivered. The terms TMS and rTMS are used interchangeably. It involves delivering repetitive magnetic pulses in targeted areas of the brain to change brain function and relieve feelings of sadness, hopelessness, lethargy, and other depression symptoms.

Treatment Effectiveness 

Even if medication and other traditional treatments fail, the treatment has shown great promise in reducing the symptoms of depression. This innovative modality uses magnetic pulses to stimulate specific, targeted areas in the brain.

The human brain is a hub of electrical activity. Those magnetic impulses can stimulate nerve cells, activating them to restore balance and help you get back to being yourself without any medication or invasive procedures.

For treatment-resistant depression, marked by the failure of one or more antidepressants, trying a new medication might only provide slight relief from symptoms. Getting symptom relief by making another medication change is only about 5% for patients who fail to see results after trying four or more antidepressants.

On the other hand, TMS has proven to be 50% to 70% effective.

How Long Does TMS Therapy Last?

Every patient is unique. A full treatment course typically includes 36 daily sessions. Most patients plan on 40 minutes from the time they come in until the time they walk out the door, with treatments taking about 20 minutes. Results can last years for some people but shorter times for others.

What Patients Are Good Candidates for Repetitive TMS?

Many individuals can benefit from TMS therapy. This could be a good treatment option if you fall into one of three categories:
Failed to respond to multiple trials of medications.
Experienced side effects from antidepressants, such as sleepiness, sexual dysfunction, or weight gain.
Disinterested in trying an antidepressant, even though symptoms of depression are present.

Does TMS Work on All Types of Depression?

Researchers are still uncovering all the possible uses for FDA-approved TMS treatment. It has been shown to have positive effects on treatment-resistant depression, which is defined as failing to achieve results from one or more antidepressant medications.
Friends who have faced their mental illness

When Does Relief from Depression Begin with TMS?

No single treatment works for every patient, and no treatment works the same for everyone.

The American Journal of Psychiatry recently published impressive results from a randomized control TMS trial. Many participants achieved significant results within five days, and nearly 80% of patients became symptom-free in one month.

Why Do Some Patients Need More TMS therapy Sessions Than Others?

You’re unique. Although you aren’t alone in your depression, the way your brain operates and what you need differs from other patients. Factors, including the severity of the depression and your health history, may determine how long results last and whether you’ll need more than one course of treatment over time.

What Side Effects Can Occur with Repetitive TMS?

Unlike many standard treatment options, TMS side effects are relatively rare, mild, and short-lived. The most common issues include:

Mild discomfort or tightening of facial muscles
Tingling sensation in the face or scalp
Mild headache
Low risk of seizure
Although the risk of seizure is low, we take steps to decrease the chance of it happening. For example, we recommend skipping a session for patients who haven’t had adequate sleep. We also remap the brain if there have been any medication changes. Avoiding changing baseline intake of coffee or alcohol during treatment can also lower the risk.

Many patients who experience side effects note that they go away quickly and lessen in frequency over time. Importantly, you won’t feel pain or grogginess. You can drive and go about your normal activities immediately after TMS treatment.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage varies. Many companies pay for TMS if you have already tried at least two to three medications without success. Depending on your policy, you may or may not be eligible for insurance benefits. Even if you are, each visit requires a copayment, which is generally the same amount you would pay to see your psychiatrist.

We recommend checking with your insurance carrier. Patients who don’t meet insurance companies’ criteria can still receive treatment, but the costs will be entirely out of pocket.

If you have any other questions regarding the costs, our friendly experts are always willing to provide answers.

Schedule Your TMS Consultation

Are you ready to get back to feeling like yourself? Call (518) 583-7410 to schedule your TMS consultation with Dr. Manuel.