Depression is a debilitating brain disease. While medications work for some, there are many sufferers who need a different treatment option. TMS is a powerful tool to treat depression and fortunately insurance covers the use of TMS for depression if certain requirements are met. Most insurances require a patient have tried at least 4 different antidepressants and have had a recent course of psychotherapy.
Off-Label Applications of TMS
TMS is FDA cleared solely for the treatment of depression. However, throughout the world other neurologically-based illnesses are also successfully treated with TMS. These treatments are considered “off-label,” meaning they have not been officially cleared by the FDA.
What makes us unique as a TMS provider is our use of a tool that allows us to understand the workings of an individual brain and to tailor TMS therapy to that specific brain. Using an EEG (electroencephalogram) we gain valuable information that guides us in our treatment. As brain diseases are a result of imbalances in the brain, understanding what is out of balance is key just as it is in treating any condition.
An EEG is a simple, non-invasive procedure that involves the placement of electrodes at specific areas of your brain. Using computer software, your brain information is collected and then analyzed. This tool can help define areas that are “over-aroused,” as well as those that are, “under-aroused.” Rather than relying on “cookie-cutter” protocols we are guided by the results of this analysis.
With depression there is a standard protocol for the use of TMS. With other conditions, other parts of the brain are frequently involved. Understanding a specific brain allows us to target specific areas, thereby making the treatment much more effective.
This list includes many conditions successfully treated with TMS:
- Auditory Hallucinations
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorder – Bulimia
- Epilepsy and Seizures
- Postpartum Depression
- Post Stroke
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Please note that these “off label” conditions are not FDA cleared, nor are they covered by insurance. However, many brain-based conditions are being treated with TMS all around the world in various hospitals, research facilities and provider offices.