December 20, 2018 – Depression and TMS


Anchor lead: How useful is transcranial magnetic stimulation for treating depression? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS for short, utilizes magnetic waves to stimulate a specific area of the brain and may be helpful in treating depression, with a new coil design recently approved by the FDA. Irving Reti, a depression expert at Johns Hopkins, says for those how haven’t responded to other interventions, TMS may prove worthwhile.

Reti: There are now two coil designs that have been approved by the FDA for treating depression. We get a lot of patients coming to us who have failed medications and often been ill for a long time. TMS is something that is worth trying assuming that their insurance company will cover it and they have the time to come in every day for a treatment. The treatment course is typically six weeks daily followed by a taper down.  :31

Reti says TMS is somewhat uncomfortable for some and may require an acclimation period when treatment is initiated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.