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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is an FDA-approved, non-invasive procedure that is performed in a doctor’s office to help patients struggling with depression, OCD, and smoking cessation. TMS is the safest and least invasive brain stimulation therapy currently available. This treatment works through neuromodulation – the stimulation and alteration of nerves that research has shown are involved in mood and behavior. 

MUSC now offers two types of TMS treatment:

  • Repetitive TMS (rTMS): This traditional approach to TMS typically includes six weeks of daily treatments. rTMS takes 20 minutes a session and is done once a day
  • Accelerated TMS: This approach involves 10 minutes a session with multiple daily doses of TMS, aiming to expedite positive outcomes for patients with depression.

Patients can relax, read, or listen to music while a small curved device, about the size of a cupped hand, delivers focused magnetic stimulation directly to the area of the brain thought to be involved with regulating mood. The magnetic field pulses are the same strength as those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.  

Don't suffer in silence; seek help today! If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or OCD, it's time to take the first step towards a brighter future. Our compassionate team is ready to support you on your journey to improved mental health. Contact us to learn more about our TMS treatments at 843-792-5716.

Image of a Doctor and a Patient

TMS for Depression

Approximately 30% of patients with severe depression fail to respond to treatment with antidepressants. Before TMS was available, "treatment-resistant" patients often received Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). While ECT can be highly effective, some patients experience unwanted side effects, including short-term memory loss or headaches. ECT requires a patient to take some time off work and not drive, which is not feasible for many people. 

Both rTMS and accelerated TMS offer more convenience and provide good outcomes for patients who have treatment-resistant depression. Accelerated TMS can be especially beneficial for individuals who have not found relief from depression through conventional treatments. It offers new hope and a chance for a better quality of life. If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent symptoms of depression, reach out to our team to see if this treatment can help.

TMS for OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, often disabling disorder defined by unwanted and distressing thoughts and repetitive behaviors that the person feels driven to do. About 40% of people with OCD do not respond to medications or OCD therapy, and few people find their symptoms resolved.

TMS was FDA-approved in 2018 for the treatment of OCD, and it is thought TMS modifies the brain networks involving OCD. TMS for OCD involves 29 treatments done once daily for five days a week. Each session involves the patient being provoked by the things they have obsessions or compulsions about five minutes before the TMS starts. By activating the neurocircuitry of OCD and then stimulating those regions, TMS can reduce OCD symptoms in people with treatment resistance to medications and OCD therapy. The FDA noted that 38% of patients receiving TMS had at least a 30% reduction in OCD symptoms, compared with 11% of patients who received sham TMS. Studies suggest that the mechanism of action of TMS for OCD is different from medications and OCD therapy, and non-response to either is not a predictor of response to TMS.  

We are the first service in South Carolina to have TMS treatment for OCD.

TMS for Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. The addiction to nicotine, similar to the addiction to drugs and alcohol, involves modulation of the brain reward system and causes uncontrollable desire to smoke. Approximately 38 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, and 480,000 die from smoking each year. Cigarette smoking has been found to harm nearly every organ system in the body and is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and of disease burden worldwide (Brian L et al., JAMA Intern Med 2014). Many people can't quit alone and fail to respond to nicotine replacement therapies.

TMS was FDA-approved for smoking cessation in 2020. The TMS reduces craving by stimulating brain regions associated with craving. In a prospective, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, multi-center trial, 262 people were randomized into two groups: an active treatment group treated with Brainsway's H4 Deep TMS coil and a sham (placebo) control group. The treatments were performed daily, five days a week for three weeks, followed by an additional three sessions once a week for three weeks (18 sessions over six weeks). Of people completing the treatment, 28% quit smoking for more than four weeks, compared to 11% of people who received a placebo. Of people who didn't quit, those who received TMS smoked less per day than those who received a placebo.

We are the first service in South Carolina to have TMS treatment for smoking cessation.