FAQ

Scroll down to view the answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions:
  • What is the history of TMS Therapy?
  • What is TMS Therapy?
  • What is involved in a TMS treatment?
  • How does a TMS treatment feel?
  • How does a patient determine if TMS is right for them?
  • Can a patient miss a treatment during the week?
  • What should a patient expect when receiving TMS?
  • How soon would benefits of TMS treatments be seen?
  • Who should not have TMS treatments?
  • Does TMS hurt?
  • Will treatment be covered by insurance?
  • Is TMS Therapy a possible treatment for other conditions?
  • How do I get started?

What is the history of TMS Therapy?
  • First used in 1985, TMS has been used by researchers around the world to help understand the function of different parts of the brain. Hundreds of manuscripts have been published regarding the use of TMS in stimulating select regions of the brain.
  • Since the mid 1990s, TMS has been studied as an antidepressant therapy.
  • In 2006, the largest randomized, placebo-controlled study ever conducted with TMS Therapy was completed. This study was sponsored by Neuronetics and utilized the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system.
  • In 2008, the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system, was cleared for use by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with major depressive disorder who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from at least one prior medication antidepressant treatment.
  • Brainsway Deep TMS received FDA clearance to treat major depression for those who have not improved from prior antidepressant medication treatment in 2013. 
  • In March 2014, the FDA gave clearance for the NeuroStar TMS Therapy System to broaden its indication to the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who have failed to receive satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant medication in the current episode.  

What is TMS Therapy?
  • TMS Therapy is a non-systemic and non-invasive form of neuromodulation, which stimulates nerve cells in an area of the brain that is linked to depression, by delivering highly focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses.  Non-systemic means that the treatment does not circulate in the bloodstream of the body like medication therapy.  Non-invasive means that the treatment does not involve surgery; nothing is put in the body.  
  • Patients being treated by TMS Therapy do not require anesthesia or sedation and remain awake and alert throughout the treatment.
  • TMS treatment for depression is an outpatient procedure that is prescribed by a psychiatrist and performed in a psychiatrist’s office. Generally the treatment last less than one hour.
  • The treatment is typically administered Monday through Friday, over a period of 4-6 weeks.  In our office, patients average a total of 30 TMS treatments.  

What is involved in a TMS treatment?
  • A TMS treatment session is conducted using a MRI strength magnetic pulsing device which generates a highly concentrated, magnetic field. This magnetic field is the same type and strength as those produced by some MRI machines.
  • The pulsed magnetic field is delivered to the head of the patient.  Specifically, the region of the brain that is believed to be responsible for causing depression is targeted.  This region is called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.  

What does a TMS treatment feel like?
  • During a TMS treatment, the patient will feel a sensation on the scalp.  Nothing is truly touching the patient's head, but the magnetic pulse makes the scalp muscles contract which gives the sensation. Some patients describe the sensation as a "tapping" or "knocking" sensation.  

How does a patient determine if TMS is right for them?
  • A consultation appointment with a psychiatrist is required prior to being scheduled for TMS treatments in our office.
  • Interested patients should schedule a consultation by calling 615-348-8200.  You may schedule a tour in our office prior to the consultation, if you would like to meet the staff and see the device.  
  • Once approved by a psychiatrist for TMS treatment, the patient will be scheduled.  

Can a patient miss a treatment during the week?
  • While it is very important to maintain a consistent pattern of receiving treatments Monday - Friday, exceptions can be made if needed. Discussions of specifics can be addressed during or following a consultation.  
  • If a patient has to miss more than a day or two during the entire course, the Doctor may recommend make up sessions on the weekend if/as needed.
  • If travel is a necessary part of the patient's job, then we will make it work by maximizing the schedule in our office, and partnering with TMS facilities across the country. 

What should a patient expect when receiving TMS?
  • Treatment does not involve any anesthesia or sedation and patients remain awake and alert during the treatment. Patients are able to drive and/or return to work and/or other daily activities immediately after treatment.
  • Patients typically watch DVDs, Netflix or engage with the Therapist as suggested by the Doctor.

How soon would benefits of TMS treatments be seen?
  • Most patients have experienced results by the third or fourth week of treatment, however everyone is different and some patients may notice benefits more quickly or others may take longer.  During the consultation, the doctor will review our office results and what most of our patient's experiences have been.  

Who should not have TMS treatments?
  • TMS therapy should not be used by anyone who has ferromagnetic metal in their head.  In the consultation, the doctor will review this contraindication with you.

Does TMS hurt?
  • The most common side effect related to TMS treatment is scalp discomfort at the treatment area.  Some patients report little or no discomfort, others report discomfort which generally dissipates after the first few treatments.

Is TMS covered by insurance?
  • Yes!  Many insurance companies cover TMS, including many branches of Blue Cross Blue Shield. After your full evaluation with the Doctor (which is covered by insurance) we will do a full benefits investigation for you. 
  • In the instances when TMS was not covered, we have been very successful in helping our patients get reimbursed after the treatments on appeal. We also have patient assistance programs that can make the treatments very affordable if that is desired.

Is TMS Therapy a possible treatment for other conditions?
  • TMS therapy is cleared by the FDA for the treatment of depression.
  • Any FDA cleared treatment available to a physician may be used OFF-label with careful consideration and written patient consent on a case-by-case basis. During the consultation, the doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for TMS and review all options for your specific treatment.  

How do I get started?
  • Contact us for a Free Initial Consultation at 615-348-8200

Nashville Center for Hope & Healing
Neuroscience and TMS Treatment Center

Nashville Office
2125 Belcourt Ave Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 379-8600

Cool Springs Office
2001 Mallory Lane Ste 303 Franklin, TN 37067
(615) 224-9800