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We’re excited to introduce you to our newest offering here at Sonder: Neurostar TMS.
And covered by most insurance companies.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is an FDA-approved, outpatient treatment for depression.
Because TMS is time-limited, non-systemic (doesn’t circulate throughout the bloodstream), non-invasive (doesn’t involve surgery), and non-sedating, it’s a gentle alternative to medication and other interventions, such as ECT.
At Sonder, we’re proud to partner with NeuroStar, the company that secured FDA approval for TMS treatment of depression.
Delivering precisely-focused, MRI-strength magnetic pulses to the left prefrontal cortex (the mood-regulating region of the brain), TMS gently stimulates neurons (nerve cells). This triggers the release of neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) and helps stabilize neurotransmitter function.
Given that many treatment candidates have endured decades of depression, the effectiveness of TMS is remarkable:
In clinical trials, most patients experienced a positive response to TMS by the fourth week of treatment. You may even experience results sooner. Your TMS technician will remain in close contact to monitor your progress throughout the course of treatment.
TMS is for adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who have not benefited from prior treatments.
In addition, TMS has shown promise as an effective treatment for Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Panic Disorder, though FDA approval is pending.
There are just a few contraindications to TMS. For example, if you have an active or inactive implant (e.g., deep brain stimulator, cochlear implant, vagus nerve stimulator), then TMS wouldn’t be an appropriate fit for you.
You’ll complete the entire treatment process right here in our comfortable and inviting outpatient clinic.
The typical course of treatment consists of 36 sessions, which take place over a 4- to 6-week period.
The first treatment session will be a bit different from the rest, because this is when we’ll determine the most effective magnetic strength for your treatment. First, the technician will perform a test that establishes your motor threshold, or the amount of magnetic field strength that results in a movement of your right thumb. Next, the technician will determine the precise site on your scalp where NeuroStar’s proprietary magnetic coil will be placed. Start to finish, this process lasts no more than 90 minutes, and when it’s done, we’ll have finalized your customized treatment protocol.
After this first session, the rest of your treatment will be the same every time: You’ll spend each 18- to 20-minute session relaxing in a treatment chair as the TMS device gently delivers magnetic pulses to specific areas of your brain. These pulses feel like tapping on your scalp and shouldn’t ever be uncomfortable; if they are, your technician will adjust as needed.
Side effects range from non-existent to minor and can include mild headache or scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation during or after treatment. (Any discomfort is easily alleviated by over-the-counter analgesics.)
And because there’s no anesthesia or sedation involved with NeuroStar TMS treatment, you’ll remain awake and alert the whole time, and can be up, out, and on with your life after each session!
The short answer: It depends.
For some people, TMS is one helpful piece of the emotional wellness puzzle. It complements the role of therapy, self-care, and/or well-managed medication to help maximize treatment effectiveness.
For others, TMS provides a welcome alternative to the side-effects associated with certain medications.
It’s all about what’s right for you.
And because every Sonder therapist, psychiatrist, and TMS technician work together under one roof, you can rest easy, confident in the knowledge each member of your emotional wellness team is collaborating to help you feel your best.
Ready to start the process?