When your major depressive disorder (MDD) does not respond to counseling and medication, NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) might be a good alternative. Because it is considered a non-traditional treatment, you may have some questions. Check out the FAQs below.

1. How Does NeuroStar Work?

NeuroStar treats MDD by balancing the neurons in your brain with electromagnetic fields. A coil is placed against your scalp, and when an electrical current passes through, it generates a magnetic field. These currents stimulate or modulate the activity of nerve cells that regulate neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

2. What Are the Benefits of TMS Therapy?

One of the main benefits to TMS therapy is that it is not invasive and does not use medication, surgery, or anesthesia. As a result, side effects are often minimal. Treatment is precise as the procedure targets specific areas of your brain. There is no recovery time, and you can remain awake during treatment. Results are typically long-lasting, but you may require maintenance treatment intermittently.

3. Am I a Good Candidate for NeuroStar TMS Therapy?

You may be a good candidate for NeuroStar TMS Therapy when medications or psychotherapy has not helped your MDD.

TMS therapy might not be for you if you have a history of seizures, metal objects in or around your head, are pregnant, or breastfeeding. You must be willing to commit to the recommended course of treatment, which typically involves daily sessions over several weeks.

4. What Conditions Are Treated by TMS Therapy?

In addition to MDD, TMS therapy can also help obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxious depression.

5. How Long Does It Take Before NeuroStar TMS Therapy Starts to Work, and How Long Does It Last?

Every person responds differently. You may notice results within the first few weeks, or it may take a little longer. Results are usually long-lasting, but you may require a maintenance treatment to make sure your brain stays balanced.

6. What Are the Side Effects of TMS Therapy, and Is It Safe?

Most side effects are mild and usually involve temporary discomfort at the treatment site, which usually resolves within the first week. Rare side effects may include:

  • Toothaches
  • Muscle twitches
  • Pain in your face, skin, and eyes.

There is also a rare risk of seizure in a small percentage of participants. However, TMS is safe if you do not have non-removable conductive metal or stimulator implants near or in your head. This treatment should not be used if you have active or inactive implants, like deep brain stimulator cochlear implants, and Vagus nerve stimulators.

7. Do NeuroStar Treatments Hurt?

Even though you may experience discomfort, NeuroStar treatments are generally not painful. You might experience mild headaches or sensations on your scalp, such as tingling, tapping, or light pressure. Because the coil is placed against your scalp, there may be mild discomfort or pressure at the treatment site. This is usually temporary and does not cause lasting pain.

If the treatment is uncomfortable, let your practitioner know, and the parameters can be adjusted.

Ask Our Clinicians About NeuroStar Today

When your MDD, OCD, or anxious depression are not responsive to traditional treatment methods, NeuroStar TMS Therapy can be a helpful option.

If you have any additional questions, give us a call today. We are happy to schedule an initial consultation at your convenience.

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