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TMS Therapy

Major Depression is a serious illness that affects over 14 million Americans. While antidepressant medication can be helpful in managing its symptoms, clinical literature suggests that an estimated 4 million patients do not benefit from standard antidepressant medications, mostly due to inadequate response or intolerance to side effects.1 Patients with depression who are not receiving benefit from their current antidepressant medication need a novel treatment approach to achieve remission.

NeuroStar® TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Therapy

This non-drug treatment is FDA-cleared for the treatment of depression in patients who have not benefited from initial antidepressant medication. ECU Physician's Psychiatry Outpatient Center is pleased to be among the first in our area to offer this proven and safe treatment.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy® works by delivering highly focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses to non-invasively stimulate the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area thought to be associated with mood. Patients receive daily outpatient care in our office for 6 weeks. Each treatment lasts approximately 37 minutes with patients awake and alert and able to resume normal activities immediately after treatment.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is backed by the largest clinical data set of any TMS Therapy device in the treatment of depression.

Proven Efficacy through a Clinical Data Set Encompassing 6 Studies with 800 Patients2,3,4,7,8,9

Consistent response and remission rates in a difficult to treat patient population across multiple studies**

  • 1 in 2 patients respond
  • 1 in 3 patients remit (complete resolution of symptoms)
Established Safety Profile and Treatment Adherence
  • Less than 5% discontinuation rate due to adverse events5
  • Most common adverse event related to TMS is pain or discomfort at or near the treatment site during active TMS
  • NeuroStar TMS Therapy avoids many of the systemic side effects typically associated with antidepressant medications6
  • There is a rare risk of seizure with TMS (0.1% per patients)
How it works
  • Pulsed magnetic fields induce small electric currents in the prefrontal cortex of the brain
  • Local neurons depolarize and release neurotransmitters
  • Distant areas of the limbic system are activated via neuronal pathways
  • Blood flow and glucose metabolism rise in the stimulated regions, which is thought to result in improved mood

Please contact the TMS Coordinator at ECU Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic 252-744-1406 for more questions, to schedule a TMS consult, or to refer a patient.

* NeuroStar TMS Therapy® is indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to achieve satisfactory improvement from one prior antidepressant medication at or above the minimal effective dose and duration in the current episode.

** In a controlled trial comparing treatment with an active NeuroStar TMS device to an inactive device, patients received an average reduction in their depression symptom score of 22.1% compared to a 9% average reduction in patients receiving inactive treatment3

1 Kessler RC, et al. (2003). National Comorbidity Survey Replication. JAMA 289(23):3095-105.

2 George MS, et al. (2010). Daily Left Prefrontal Transcranial magnetic Stimulation Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: A Sham-Controlled Randomized Trial. Arch Gen Psychiat 67(5):507-516.

3 Demitrack MA, Thase ME (2009). Clinical Significance of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the Treatment of Pharmacoresistant Depression: Synthesis of Recent Data. Psychopharmacol Bull 42(2):5-38.

4 Carpenter LL, et al. (2012). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice. Depress Anxiety 29(7):587–596.

5 Janicak PG, et al. (2008). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the treatment of major depression: A comprehensive summary of safety experience from acute exposure, extended exposure, and during reintroduction treatment. J Clin Psychiat 69(2):222-232.

6 Neuronetics, Inc. Data on File

7 Avery DH, et al. (2008). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder: Clinical response in an open-label extension trial. J Clin Psychiat 69(3):441-451.

8 Janicak PG, et al. (2010). Durability of clinical benefit with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of pharmacoresistant major depression: assessment of relapse during a 6-month, multisite, open-label study. Brain Stimul 3(4):187-199.

9 McDonald WM, et al. (2011). Improving the Antidepressant Efficacy of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Maximizing the Number of Stimulations and Treatment Location in Treatment-Resistant Depression. Depress Anxiety 28(11):973-980.