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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - TMS

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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - TMS

We have been providing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to patients at the CMG Piedmont Psychiatric Center since 2014 with significant success.  TMS is recommended for patients who suffer from depression but who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from other treatments including anti-depressants.  TMS does not take the place of medication or therapy: rather it is an additional treatment for depression.

What is TMS

TMS is a non-invasive, non-medication, FDA approved procedure that utilizes magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.  The treatment consists of a series of outpatient sessions that do not require anesthesia.  The procedure has minimal or no side effects, and patients can return to normal activity immediately after each session.

How it works

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control and depression. And it may activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in people with depression.  

TMS Therapy is:

  • Safe - over 20 years of research behind it
  • Proven  - in open-label clinical trials, 1 in 2 patients suffering from depression reported significant improvement; 1 in 3 patients were completely free of depression symptoms after six weeks of treatment
  • Targeted - stimulating only the part of the brain thought to be involved in regulating mood
  • Easy on the body - with no medication required and none of the systemic side effects commonly associated with antidepressants -- the most common side effect of TMS is a generally mild to moderate scalp discomfort

Who Administers TMS?

Dr. Michael Judd
Medical Director, Piedmont Psychiatric Center

Click here for a podcast about TMS by Dr Judd

Before your first appointment

TMS isn't invasive, doesn't require anesthesia and can be performed in a doctor's office. You don't need to arrange for someone to drive you home after treatment — unless, for the first treatment, you prefer a driver until you get a sense of how you'll feel afterward.