Santa Fe TMS Therapy Center is the first TMS treatment facility in New Mexico.
We have over five years experience in providing TMS.
Throughout the NeuroStar TMS Therapy Studies, more than 10,000 TMS treatments were safely performed. These studies demonstrated no systemic side effects, such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, sedation, nausea or dry mouth. There were no adverse effects on concentration or memory.
The most common adverse event related to treatment was transient scalp pain or discomfort of mild to moderate severity. Some patients experienced mild headaches. Seizures have been reported with TMS therapy. The rate, which is less than 1 in 1000 patients, is no more than that of antidepressant treatment.
In a large naturalistic multi-center study that included Santa Fe Therapy Center, 307 patients were enrolled in the acute phase of treatment. 62% achieved symptomatic improvement, and 41% reported complete remission with acute treatment.
Of these individuals, 257 entered a 12-month long-term follow-up phase of the study, in which they were observed for 52 weeks. Maintenance of benefit was observed under a regimen of continuation antidepressant medication and access to TMS reintroduction for symptom recurrence.
The typical treatment course consists of 5 sessions per week over a 4 to 8 week period for a total of 20 to 35. Each treatment session lasts approximately 40-60 minutes.
Can I use TMS to stop medications? If the medications are causing significant side effects then TMS may allow you to discontinue the medications. Also if medications are providing no benefit then you may be able to discontinue them. However, do not discontinue medications without the advice and supervision of your psychiatrist.
Why do most people continue on medications after undergoing TMS? The original TMS studies investigated people with refractory depression who were not on medications. The response rates were 27%(9% for placebo). The response rate for the naturalistic study in which medication was allowed was 62%. Thus it appears that the combination is the most effective intervention.
What is the dropout rate due to adverse reactions? In our facility it is less than 1%. This significantly less than we see with antidepressant medications.
Should I just keep trying antidepressants? If you are depressed you should keep trying treatments until your depression is in remission. However, the Star-D study, a large naturalistic investigation of depression treatment found that people who had failed 3 adequate antidepressant trials (or 2 medications and cognitive therapy) had a 10% remission rate with another antidepressant. The TMS study demonstrated a 40% remission rate in patients who had failed an average of 3.5 medication trials. While these are separate studies, the outcomes are clearly different.
Is TMS similar to ECT (shock therapy)? No. While ECT is the most effective treatment acutely for refractory depression, it requires anesthesia, someone to assist you after the session, and frequently causes short-term memory loss. TMS is performed while you are completely awake and causes no memory or cognitive problems. You drive to and from the treatment with no problem.
What is the relapse rate of TMS? The maintenance study found that 29% of people relapsed within a year. These patients required either changes in their antidepressants or further TMS. Sometimes the repeat courses of TMS can be as brief as three treatments. In addition, we have several patients who went into sustained remission after a repeat course. Some of our earliest patients are still depression-free eight years after undergoing TMS therapy. Of note, the TMS relapse rate is probably less than the relapse rate for ECT or further medication trials in people with refractory depression.
Santa Fe TMS Therapy Center