Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service
Support for individuals who struggle with depression.
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with depression, particularly treatment-resistant depression.
Our program uses TMS to treat severe depression and is particularly helpful for people with depression who have not experienced significant relief from antidepressant medications or have difficulty with side effects.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses focused magnetic impulses to non-invasively stimulate the brain in the pre-frontal cortex (the region of the brain associated with mood regulation).
TMS is non-invasive and requires no anesthesia or sedation. The procedure typically lasts less than an hour. During this time patients are awake, alert and comfortable. There are no restrictions on work or other activity before the treatment. Because no medications are administered, there are no systemic effects or cognitive after-effects (memory difficulty or ability to concentrate). Therefore, patients can return immediately to regular activity.
Patients typically receive 20 to 30 treatments over four to six weeks (five times per week). There may also be a taper phase. The course of treatment will vary according to each individual.
An initial assessment will determine the appropriate dose of the magnetic pulse and the exact area of the brain the coil should target. As the treatment progresses, the clinician will conduct periodic re-evaluations of the dose level and coil placement.
During a treatment session, the patient sits in a comfortable reclining chair. A headset is applied to deliver the magnetic stimulation. Ear plugs are also provided to decrease the loud clicks associated with each magnetic pulse. Patients are given the option to watch television, listen to music, or simply relax during the treatment session. During treatment, the patient is monitored continuously to ensure correct coil positioning and comfort level.
Our collaborative team approach is aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of psychotherapy, medication management, and psychosocial treatments already offered at McLean with emerging techniques, technologies and interventions like TMS.
Admission & Cost
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Service is ideal for individuals with severe or treatment-resistant depression.
For further information about our program, please contact our admissions coordinator:
Referring clinicians should fill out the TMS Referral Form so that we may determine whether the program is good fit for the individual and gather the appropriate patient information. A completed referral form is required prior to treatment.
Coverage for TMS by public and private insurers varies greatly. While McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans, it is best to contact us or your insurance provider to determine TMS coverage. Precertification according to eligibility criteria is required.
More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Mass General Brigham website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.