Behavioral Health
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy, a treatment for depression*, is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure which uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate function in brain regions known to affect mood. NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is performed in a psychiatrist’s office under their supervision while the patient remains awake and alert. The NeuroStar System is the fastest TMS device cleared by the FDA for the treatment of depression. NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is available by prescription only. It is not for everyone with depression, so patients should consult a NeuroStar doctor to determine this.

What is Advanced Therapy?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves the use of a very short pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Since the 1980s, TMS has been used to study the nerve fibers that carry information about movements from the brain to the spinal cord and onto the muscles. In the late 1990’s physicians began to explore the therapeutic potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of a variety of diseases, with depression being the most thoroughly studied to date. Since then, numerous trials have been conducted to investigate the safety and efficacy of TMS as a treatment for depression, with the two largest randomized trials being conducted with the NeuroStar Advanced Therapy System.

How Does Advanced Therapy Work?

NeuroStar delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation as an outpatient procedure, while patients remain awake and alert throughout treatment.

*NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.

The TMS Process:

  1. Pulsed magnetic fields induce small electric currents in the prefrontal cortex of the brain
  2. Local neurons depolarize and release neurotransmitters
  3. Distant areas of the limbic system are activated via neuronal pathways
  4. Blood flow and glucose metabolism rise in the stimulated regions, which is thought to result in improved mood.