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NeuroStar uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to target key areas of the brain that are underactive in people with depression. It is not ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).
While the exact cause of depression is not known, the leading scientific theory is that it is caused by an imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that send signals between brain cells.
What is NeuroStar Advanced Therapy (TMS)?
During a NeuroStar treatment session, a magnet similar in strength to that used in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is used to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. These magnetic pulses may have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter levels, making long-term remission possible.
Treatment with NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is easy:
With more than three million treatments delivered, this novel treatment approach to achieving remission is bringing new hope to people every day.
You’ll recline comfortably in the treatment chair. A small, curved magnetic coil will be positioned lightly on your head.
NeuroStar delivers focused magnetic stimulation directly to the target areas of the brain. You’ll hear a clicking sound and feel a tapping sensation on your head.
NeuroStar Advanced Therapy: Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, each treatment takes between 19 and 37 minutes.
You can resume normal activities immediately.
Because there are no effects on alertness or memory, you can drive yourself to and from treatment sessions.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, often referred to as TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when antidepressant medications haven’t been effective, have ceased working, or as an alternative to medication.
How does TMS work?
TMS involves delivering magnetic pulses to specific parts of the brain.
How long is TMS treatment?
The first treatment is the longest and it is around 45 minutes. During this session “mapping of your brain” occurs. The mapping is done by your TMS psychiatric provider. The brain mapping procedure is also known as cortical mapping. Your provider will first find your motor cortex. This area of the brain runs across the top of the head from ear to ear. By using precise contact sensing to identify the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ensures the right patient dose, at the right location, every time. Only NeuroStar has this capability to provide real-time feedback on the angle and contact of the coil.
Why is this so important?
When patients move during treatment, contact with the coil can be compromised. Coughing, sneezing, or fidgeting can cause the patient’s head to lose contact with the coil, resulting in a loss of up to 47% of the patient’s prescribed dose.
Follow-up treatments are 18 minutes daily over 7-9 weeks. For a total of 36 treatments including initial mapping and treatment.
Is TMS Therapy covered by my insurance?
A vast majority of commercial and Medicare plans have recognized the effectiveness of treating depression with TMS Therapy and now cover TMS as part of their plans.
Is TMS Therapy a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of antidepressant medications?
TMS does not circulate in the blood throughout the body, so it does not have side effects like weight gain, sexual dysfunction, nausea, dry mouth, sedation, etc. The most common side effects reported during clinical trials were headache and scalp discomfort —generally mild to moderate—occurring less frequently after the first week of treatment.
Is TMS Therapy like other alternative therapies that use magnets to treat some illnesses?
No. TMS Therapy involves a unique method of using pulsed magnetic fields for a therapeutic benefit. The intensity of the magnetic field is similar to that of an MRI. These techniques differ radically from the popular use of low intensity, static magnetic fields. Those products deliver weak and undirected static fields that are not capable of activating brain cells. The activation and stimulation of brain cells is a key part of why TMS is so effective.
Can medicaid patients get reimbursed for travel?
Yes. Medicaid patients can get reimbursed for travel if they call the back of their card and give them a heads up regarding appointments.
Regarding coverage - Now a days, many individuals have a high deductible. To help lessen the financial burden, Laverdure Psychiatry as teamed up with Advance Care Card. Advance Care Card offers flexibility, low interest rates even at 0% and the ability to not feel pressured to pay the entire deductible all at once.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice. span style="box-sizing: border-box; font-weight: 400;">Depression and Anxiety, 29(7):587-596. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22689344
Daily Left Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Sham-Controlled Randomized Trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 67(5):507-516. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20439832
Dunner DL, et al. (2014). A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Patients with Pharmacoresistant Major Depressive Disorder: Durability of Benefit Over a 1-Year Follow-Up Period. J Clin Psychiatry. 75(12):1394-1401. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271871
O’Reardon JP, et al. (2007). Efficacy and Safety of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Acute Treatment of Major Depression: A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial. Biol Psychiatry, 62(11):1208-1216. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17573044
The NeuroStar Advanced Therapy System is indicated for the treatment of depressive episodes and for decreasing anxiety symptoms for those who may exhibit comorbid anxiety symptoms in adult patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and who failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from previous antidepressant medication treatment in the current episode.
The NeuroStar Advanced Therapy system is intended to be used as an adjunct for the treatment of adult patients suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is only available by prescription. A doctor can help decide if NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is right for you. Patients’ results may vary.
The most common side effect is pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site. These events are transient; they occur during the TMS treatment course and do not occur for most patients after the first week of treatment. There is a rare risk of seizure associated with the use of TMS therapy (<0.1% per patient).
Visit neurostar.com for full safety and prescribing information.