Transcranial magnetic stimulation

About

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an internationally approved and non-invasive procedure offering hope to people with difficult to treat depression or chronic depression. In Australia, TMS is still considered as a research project.

It is designed to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, specifically the “dorsolateral prefrontal cortex”, known for it connection to the limbic system. The latter is the part of the brain responsible for a number of functions related to feelings, and other symptoms of mood disorder, including depression.

TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate the cortex region of the brain. It is designed to stimulate the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for a number of functions related to feelings, and other symptoms of mood disorder, including depression. Studies have evaluated the role of TMS in the treatment of depression since the mid-1990s. These studies have clearly shown that TMS is more effective than a placebo type of stimulation, especially in patients who have not responded well to antidepressant medication treatment.


What to expect

During the procedure a magnetic coil is placed near the patient’s head which stimulates the release of neurotransmitters. TMS therapy is considered a very safe procedure and generally well tolerated by patients with minimal side effects. Few patients have reported a mild form of headache, with good response to mild analgesics (paracetamol). During the procedure patients are allowed to eat, drink, and following the procedure can resume their normal living, including driving.

The procedure is done as an inpatient. It entails twenty sessions, each for almost half an hour, on consecutive days. Repeat TMS is sometime advisable, and some patients require maintenance TMS (5 sessions every a number of months).


Referral

Fax your referral letter to 03 9749 0972 addressed “Dear TMS Doctor”. Then each patient is discussed in an intake meeting and reviewed for suitability. On discharge, the referring doctor will receive a brief, including HAMD and both beck’s inventories scores, before, during and after the procedure, with suggestion for repeats and/or maintenance of the case deems to require.


Fees

Our programs are funded by private health insurance, Workcover, TAC or DVA. Patients can self-fund their admission, more information on our competitive rates is available through intake on 03 9731 6646.

For more information please call 03 9731 6646.

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