Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
TMS therapy for depression
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a treatment for depression and other psychiatric disorders, which uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain.
TMS has been extensively studied for many years, with a large number of clinical trials establishing that it is an effective treatment for patients with depression.
TMS is now provided in clinical programs in North America, Asia, Europe and increasingly in Australia.
How does TMS therapy work?
TMS uses magnetic fields to activate specific areas of the brain.
Repeated TMS stimulation progressively alters brain activity improving depression in some patients.
TMS requires no anaesthesia or medication and generally you may go about normal activities immediately following the treatment.
What are the costs?
This treatment is available for inpatients of The Melbourne Clinic.
Your inpatient stay is generally covered by private health insurance or by Workcover, DVA and TAC.
Patients are also welcome to self-fund their admission to hospital to receive this treatment.
Who is suitable for TMS therapy?
The main use of TMS is inpatients with depression.
Patients who are suitable for TMS will typically have continued symptoms of depression despite having tried one or more antidepressant medications.
There are a few things that may make a patient not suitable for TMS: the main issues are a history of epilepsy or seizures or the presence of a pacemaker or other type of implanted medical device.
Increasing research is also focusing on the use of TMS in other conditions. At The Melbourne Clinic, in addition to depression, we provide treatment to a small number of patients with schizophrenia who have persistent auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) which have not responded to other medication treatments.
For more information please contact
The Melbourne Clinic TMS Coordinator
Phone: (03) 9487 4628 Fax: (03) 9487 4655
Referrals for TMS treatment can be sent to Sue Tran at the Melbourne Clinic.
Are the magnetic fields generated during TMS harmful?
We believe the magnetic fields generated in TMS are not harmful. Long term studies looking specifically at the effects of TMS generated magnetic fields would be helpful in confirming this.
It has been found that chronic exposure to magnetic fields even
greater than those generated during TMS appears to be safe.
Can I have more than one session of TMS per day?
This isn’t done during the initial course of TMS.
Some patients having maintenance TMS will have two sessions per day but this isn’t always the case.
How long will it take for my mood to improve with TMS?
This is quite variable. Generally patients can hope to see some improvement in their mood during the second or third week of treatment if TMS is going to work for them.
For some patients, a response can be more delayed.
Can TMS be given as an outpatient?
Yes, but after each treatment patients should not drive or return to work on that day.
What are the fees involved in TMS?
Most services will be covered under your private health insurance however there are some therapies on offer which may not be included in your policy.
In these instances our friendly staff can provide you with an estimate of the costs involved in these service.