The evidence establishing the clinical effectiveness, the safety, and biological mechanism for TMS is well defined in hundreds of scientific and medical publications dating back decades.
How TMS Works
TMS works by emitting magnetic pulses to the affected area of the brain. These magnetic pulses are very similar to those experienced during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These pulses work to activate the area of the brain that is implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and OCD. The patient remains awake and alert throughout the duration of the treatment, and is cared for and monitored by a certified TMS Therapist.
Clinical Studies: MDD and OCD
Three clinical studies completed in the US have formed the foundation for approval of TMS by health insurers and the FDA. Below are two figures from the Neuronetics Clinical study, which was the first approved in the US. These figures portray the patient population treated and the clinical results. These clinical results are displayed side-by-side with the STAR*D clinical trial for antidepressant efficacy. Although the studies are not head-to-head studies, the graph shows that continuous medication trials are less likely to relieve depressive symptoms than the previously tried medication.
Avery, D, et al. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Acute Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: Clinical Response in an Open-label Extension Trial. J Clin Psychiatry, 69:3, March 2008.
Lisanby SH, Husain MM, Rosenquist PB, et al. daily left prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in the acute treatment of major depression: clinical predictors of outcome in a multisite, randomized controlled clinical trial. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009;34(1):522-534;
Demitrack, MA , Thase, ME., Clinical significance of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of pharmacoresistant depression: synthesis of recent data. Psychopharm Bull. 2009, (42(2): 5-38;
Private Clinic Results
Scientific research and clinical studies are the foundation for the development of medical treatments. Clinical results seen in doctors’ offices are the true evidence of the value of a treatment. Fortunately, TMS has surpassed the results seen in clinical trials. Below, we have highlighted results from two private TMS clinics.
Carlsen, A, et al. Transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adolescents and young adults. Brain Stimulation 2018; May-June.
Manevitz, A. Halper,JP; Review of 200 Patients (7,000 treatments) Clinical Outcomes of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy performed in a Naturalistic Clinical Setting. Brain Stimulation; September-October 2015.