Transcranial magnetic stimulation treats a number of psychiatric disorders, so this is an excellent question.
The NeuroStar TMS Therapy System has FDA approval for the treatment of major depression. This means that clinical research was done which convinced them the NeuroStar is both safe and effective.
In the treatment of depression the magnetic coil is usually placed over the left prefrontal cortex.
However, the coil can be placed anywhere on the outside of the cranium, and the NeuroStar Therapy System was designed to allow great flexibility so that TMS prescriptions can be adjusted in many ways. This allows for research studies, clinical investigations, and the flexibility to treat a wide variety of psychiatric disorders.
There is a long list of disorders for which TMS has been used clinically. Some of this treatment is very well backed up by research. At TMS Augusta we are currently willing to consider using our Advanced TMS with the NeuroStar Therapy System for the following indications.
- Clinical depression, major depression, MDD (the FDA approved indications)
- Bipolar depression
- Postpartum depression
- Depression during pregnancy
- Anxiety associated with depression
- ADD/ADHD, particularly when associated with depression
- Chronic pain associated with depression
In each and every case a careful determination has to be made before deciding whether TMS is appropriate. Every person is unique. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for magnetic stimulation treatment.
We anticipate expanding the indications for which we will use TMS as we gain experience, receive further education and training, and as the research in this exciting field continues. Please discuss with us anything you’d like to have treated with TMS, so we can point you to more information, and investigate it ourselves.
We know too that TMS is often effective at reducing the pain of fibromyalgia in depressed patients, and also migraine pain in some depressed patients.
Our approach to the off label use of TMS is conservative.
When it comes to this treatment we believe above all in safety, and in using the technology only in ways which make sense to us. We are impressed by research. We are not interested in being TMS cowboys, or shooting from the hip. We do not want to be TMS trailblazers, but we’re aware that by using different protocols, TMS can be used to stimulate neurons, or to suppress or interfere with their activity.
With TMS, there is considerable flexibility and tremendous potential. High dose vs low dose? Left DLPFC vs Right DLPFC? 1 Hz vs 10 Hz? There are all sorts of technical parameters which can be adjusted. It’s not necessary for most people to have any understanding of any of these terms, but we love to talk about them if you want to know more.
So that we can keep improving our treatment protocols we are frequently in touch with other doctors very experienced in using TMS. Fortunately, there is a growing network of TMS providers most of whom are exceedingly interested in sharing what they’ve learned. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we can pick their brains, and use magnetic stimulation in ways already well known to be very effective.
We love trying to learn all there is to know about the most advanced, well researched uses of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, and talking with other psychiatrists about brain stimulation. Towards that end we regularly attend meetings where we ask a zillion questions of experienced psychiatrists using TMS, and share with them what we’ve learned.
We are members of the Clinical TMS Society because it helps us further our knowledge of transcranial magnetic stimulation. The newsletters are wonderful – informative, exciting, interesting!
We have been fully trained and certified in TMS by Neuronetics, the company which makes the NeuroStar Therapy System.
But then we heard about even better TMS education and training…
Now we have completed a university advanced training course in transcranial magnetic stimulation conducted at the famous Brain Stimulation Lab in Charleston.
This rigorous course is taught by Dr. Mark George and his staff at the Medical University of South Carolina, and attracts psychiatrists from all over the world. Dr. George invented the clinical use of TMS, and is the world’s authority on TMS. We are extremely pleased to have received this training, passed the requisite examinations, and become certified by Dr. George.