Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy or repetitive TMS (rTMS) is a recognized treatment for depression. It is a non-invasive procedure that delivers repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells, providing relief. Several different factors need to be evaluated when finding a TMS provider in New York.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS)
An electromagnetic coil is placed near the forehead so it touches the scalp. The cells in the brain that are involved in mood control and depression are stimulated when an electromagnet delivers electromagnetic pulses. Although the mechanism of action is not properly understood, it is believed that the electromagnetic pulse activates the regions of the brain that exhibit decreased activity due to depression.
TMS is considered safer than a number of the other treatments in this class. Vagus nerve or deep brain stimulation requires surgical intervention to implant the electrodes necessary for the treatment, whereas TMS is non-invasive. Electroconvulsive therapy requires an anesthetic to sedate the patient and induces a seizure that carries several risk factors. TMS, on the other hand, is relatively risk-free.
Things to Consider When Choosing TMS Provider
Several factors should be taken into account when choosing a TMS specialist.
Several providers in New York, including the TMS Center of the Hudson Valley, have partnered with Neurostar to offer the FDA-cleared Neurostar Advanced Therapy, specifically designed for those with depression who struggle with medication. Neurostar ensures that the right dose is delivered to the patient every time. Patients are required to obtain a script from a doctor for the TMS therapy.
Advantages of Neurostar Advanced Therapy
Some of the key advantages Neurostar Advanced Therapy has over its competitors include:
- Contact sensing to ensure the correct dose is received every treatment
- Proven efficacy following multiple clinical trials
- Durability over a year representing the best chance at remission
- TrakStar Cloud stores the patient position and dose to ensure a fast and accurate treatment is achieved every session
- 3D laser positioning of the laser to ensure the right dose in the right area every time.
The importance of positioning and the dose given should not be underestimated. Up to 40% of a dose can be lost if the positioning is out by 1mm.
Standardization of Treatments
Undergoing Neurostar Advanced Therapy follows the same rules regardless of the provider.
- The sessions take place in the doctor’s offices
- Normal activities can recommence immediately
- The patient is awake throughout the procedure
- Treatment does not adversely impact memory or sleep
Several partners in New York offer Neurostar Advanced Therapy. Partners receive clinical training so that they can confidently provide TMS to the standard expected. Patients can be confident when choosing a Neurostar provider with extensive clinical training in delivering Neurostar Advanced Therapy.
When looking for a TMS provider, make sure they are a Neurostar partner to ensure you receive the gold standard in TMS therapy.
One factor that needs to be considered when looking for a TMS provider in New York is whether insurance will cover the therapy. The FDA has cleared TMS as a treatment for depression; however, other conditions have not been cleared. Most insurance companies in the US will provide coverage for TMS, but it may not cover all conditions. If you are relying on health insurance to cover the treatment, you must check whether the provider accepts insurance.
Remember, Neurostar Advanced Therapy is covered by most of the major insurance companies.
While TMS is a recognized treatment for depression, it is also used to treat several other mental health conditions. These include:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In the US, TMS has only been recognized as a treatment for depression. It is, however, used to treat other mental health conditions. Not all providers offer treatment for all of these conditions. Potential patients must check the conditions each provider treats before attending.
While reviews offer a valuable source of information when choosing a provider, they must also be read with caution.
If you are planning on relying on reviews when selecting a provider, particular attention must be paid to what is written in the review and critically evaluate. Remember, often, those at both ends of the spectrum have the most to say, but they can also be the most likely to be biased. Reviews are available on sites such as Facebook or Yelp.
Location is key in determining a TMS specialist. Ideally, the location should be near work or home, depending on when you plan to schedule appointments to allow convenient access.
Many enjoy treatment away from the hustle and bustle of the city in places like the Hudson Valley. Providers operating in these locations offer convenience without the stress of the big city.
Hours of Operation
Ensure that the business hours of any TMS specialist fit within your schedule. A TMS session typically lasts between 18 and 25 minutes while the patient sits quietly in a chair. The treatment will not affect normal functioning, so it does not need to be scheduled at the end of the day.
When choosing a TMS specialist, consider the hours that the offices are open and ensure that this fits within your schedule. This could be at lunchtime or during working hours if necessary, so make sure the specialist is available at the times that suit you.
TMS Therapy with TMS Center of the Hudson Valley
Like any medical service, the choice of provider often comes down to the patient’s personal preferences. Patients need to weigh up the treatment offered, conditions treated, the technology employed, and insurance coverage when choosing a provider.
With many providers offering a free first consultation, the patient has an opportunity to find out a little more about the provider and their practice before making a decision. TMS is a big investment; it is worth taking the time to ensure you choose the right provider.
Contact us today to learn how you or a loved one can receive TMS therapy in new york.