TMS FAQ


What is TMS therapy?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) stimulates your brain non-invasively using magnetic pulses. TMS Therapy is a treatment which delivers repetitive magnetic pulses to activate nerve cells in the part of the brain controlling mood.

This area of the brain is often underactive in those suffering from depression.

Repeated stimulation of this part of the brain has been proven to produce an anti-depressant effect on people suffering from depression. 

Can TMS be used to treat other mental illnesses?

The science behind TMS therapy is evolving as researchers and physicians are successfully treating patients world-wide for such diverse mental ailments such as Addiction, Anxiety, ADHD, Migraines, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

Dr. McClelland will be happy to discuss the science for these treatments and whether such treatment might be recommended. Because these TMS applications are not FDA cleared, they are offered by Dr. McClelland as "off label" TMS or TBS. More importantly, we employ state of the art Theta Burst technology from Denmark and Israel that some experts believe to provide superior healing at a fraction of the time and cost of the traditional FDA cleared TMS. 

What exactly happens to you during TMS therapy sessions?

You are seated in a comfortable chair with earplugs (to avoid the tap-tap sound of the treatment). Once comfortable, a cushioned helmet will be placed over your head, and the certified technician will place a TMS device over your head to ensure maximum and effective transcranial magnetic stimulation of the targeted brain structures.

Once the session begins, there will be a loud 'tap-tap-tap' sound emitted from the helmet in varying intervals, depending on treatment protocol. You will not "feel" these taps, except for the vibrations on the helmet.  

Treatment time varies, Deep TMS therapy will last about twenty minutes and Theta Burst Therapy will last about six minutes.

Once treatment is completed, you can immediately return to normal daily routine, and you can drive yourself home or to work thereafter.

Will the treatment hurt me or cause side effects?

The treatment is without the side-effects typically experienced with anti-depressants.

Some patients report of a mild discomfort or headache, but you should be able to resume your daily activities right after treatment.

TMS is non-invasive, non-systemic, and has not been shown to cause any systemic side effects.  Our TMS treatments are administered at our offices and do not require hospitalization or anesthesia. 

How long does TMS Therapy take?

The individual TMS therapy sessions last between 6 and 20 minutes. Depending on the treatment protocol, treatment will last for 2 to 5 weeks with daily treatments which vary in number according to treatment plan.

Specific TMS treatment timelines vary with each patient. 



How Many Treatments/How Long is the Treatment Course?

Treatment courses range from 1-6 weeks, depending on the type of treatment.  

How Many Days? Schedule?

The days and schedule depend on the treatment plan and type that works for you. Once you have Intake with Dr. Jesse McClleland we can talk about the treatment plan and schedule.

Do I have to Come in Everyday Monday through Friday?

Ideally, yes. Research has shown that the more consistent a patient is with coming in, the more likely they are to respond to treatment. However, coming in 3-4 days per week is acceptable and can still lead to good results.

Should we have any testing done prior to coming in?

No. All past information we will need will be filled out on the New Patient packet or at the intake appointment.

What happens at the intake?

At the intake, Dr. McClellend will determine if you are a good candidate for TMS, and if you are, the next steps moving forward will be discussed.

What is a Motor threshold and what does it do?

The motor threshold is determined on the day of the first treatment, before the first treatment is administered.

The motor threshold will be re-determined a couple times throughout the treatment course to ensure accuracy of the treatment.

Essentially, the motor threshold determines the amplitude, or the dosage, of the treatment.

Is TMS Therapy for me?

TMS therapy is FDA approved for patients with treatment resistant depression. If you have already tried anti-depressants to manage your depression but are still not satisfied, TMS Therapy may be the treatment option for you.

If you wish to try TMS treatment for other mental ailments, you should consult our medical staff and TMS specialists.

Will I still need antidepressants after TMS therapy?

While many patients experience remission, most patients continue taking antidepressants after successful TMS therapy, usually decreasing intake, depending on person.

How is this treatment different from ECT?

In reality, TMS therapy is not like Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). ECT is a treatment based on using electricity to induce seizures. On the other hand, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses magnetic pulses to non-invasively stimulate specific brain regions associated with major depressive disorder.

ECT requires anesthesia and has serious side effects, including memory loss. TMS therapy is performed in our offices, requires no anesthesia, and has no systemic side effects.

Is TMS therapy covered by insurance?

TMS therapy is currently covered by over 80% of insurance providers. If you're interested in learning more about your personal coverage, click here.  

Where can I find out more about TMS?