If you or a loved one have been experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Both can be uniquely challenging conditions to manage and can start to affect everything from your personal and professional relationships to preventing you from enjoying your passions.
Luckily, at TMS of the Lehigh Valley, our transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment (TMS) can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression toward helping you live a more comfortable and healthier life. While TMS treatment is safe and well researched, it’s important to understand some of the most-important questions regarding potential side effects and outcomes to undergoing treatment. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common questions about choosing TMS treatment.
What is TMS?
In a nutshell, TMS is a noninvasive therapy that uses magnetic fields to target specific areas in the brain responsible for mood regulation and depression. FDA-cleared in 2008, our Neurostar TMS treatment is designed to help adults with depression who have not responded to medication and therapy. More generally, TMS continues to be used to treat various neurological and psychiatric conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
During the procedure, you will sit comfortably in a special chair while a curved magnetic device is placed on your head. The TMS machine then delivers magnetic pulses directly to the affected brain regions. A complete TMS treatment cycle typically involves 36 sessions, with daily sessions lasting either 3 or 18 minutes, as per your personalized plan. With no post-treatment side effects, you can resume normal activities, such as driving and work, right away.
Are There Serious Side Effects of TMS?
TMS is considered a safe and well-tolerated treatment with few serious side effects. In clinical trials, the most common side effects of TMS are mild to moderate and typically resolve on their own within a few minutes to hours after the treatment. The most common side effects include headache, scalp discomfort, and lightheadedness. These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own within a few hours after the treatment.
Can TMS Cause Seizures?
TMS has not been found to cause seizures. In fact, TMS is sometimes used as a tool to study seizures and epilepsy. The magnetic fields used in TMS are much weaker than those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and are not strong enough to cause a seizure.
Does TMS Impair Memory or Cognitive Function?
TMS has not been shown to have any negative effects on memory or cognitive function. In fact, some studies have shown that TMS may improve cognitive function in some patients. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of TMS on cognitive function.
Can TMS Cause Headaches?
Headaches are one of the most common side effects of TMS. They are usually mild and resolve on their own within a few hours after the treatment. If you experience headaches after TMS, you should talk to your doctor. They may be able to suggest ways to manage your headaches or adjust your treatment plan.
Does TMS Cause Neck Pain or Muscle Spasms?
TMS has not been found to cause neck pain or muscle spasms. However, some patients may experience temporary discomfort or tenderness at the site where the magnetic coil is placed. This discomfort typically resolves on its own within a few hours after the treatment.
Can TMS Cause Depression or Anxiety?
TMS is used to treat depression and anxiety, not to cause them. In fact, TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. If you have any concerns about the effects of TMS on your mood, you should talk to your doctor.
Can TMS Cause Changes in Behavior or Personality?
TMS has not been found to cause changes in behavior or personality. In fact, TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment for behavioral and personality disorders, such as OCD.
Does TMS Have Any Long-Term Side Effects?
TMS is considered a safe and well-tolerated treatment with few long-term side effects. The long-term safety and effectiveness of TMS are still being studied, but so far, there is no evidence of any long-term negative effects.
Due to extensive research, it’s well established that TMS is a safe and effective treatment for individuals with depression and anxiety, and it comes with very few side effects, if any. It is also an attractive option for patients who either cannot or do not want to take medications, or who have not found relief from other forms of therapy.
Be sure to take an even closer look at the most-frequently asked questions about TMS treatment If you’d like to explore some of the options we offer here at the TMS Center of the Lehigh Valley. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more today!