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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a type of brain stimulation therapy that uses magnets to target a specific spot in the brain.

It has been shown most effective in treating major depression in people who have not responded to antidepressant medications.

TMS therapy is an outpatient procedure performed by medical professionals. It does not require anesthesia or sedation, and patients remain awake and alert during treatment.

TMS: what you should know

  • During treatment, the patient sits in a reclined chair and the coil is placed over the left forehead area. The treatment coil generates magnetic fields which turn on and off very rapidly.
  • Patients may experience muscle tension headaches or scalp discomfort at the treatment site.
  • Although rare, there is a risk of seizure with TMS therapy.

TMS therapy at Rush

  • Each treatment lasts just under 40 minutes and is typically administered daily for four to six weeks. The number of treatments depends on each patient's response to treatment.
  • Approximately half of Rush TMS patients experience significant relief of depressive symptoms, 30 percent experience moderate relief in symptoms, and 20 percent experience minimal to no change in depressive symptoms.

Why choose Rush for TMS therapy

  • Rush’s combined years of experience include 15 years of research and more than 3,000 TMS treatments administered at Rush, so it offers the most expertise in the Chicago area.
  • Rush is one of the original study sites for the large, multi-site clinical trial that led to the FDA approval of TMS device to treat depression
  • The Rush TMS team works closely with patients' treating psychiatrists and therapists to develop individualized treatment plans and address all aspects of their depression.