FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
LEARN MORE ABOUT TMS, AN INNOVATIVE DEPRESSION THERAPY
LiveWell TMS is here to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Below are some common questions that we encounter about our depression therapy, however if you do not see the answer to your question, know that we are only a phone call away and are ready to help you.
IS TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (TMS) THE RIGHT THERAPY FOR ME?
If 2 or more of the following statements apply to you, then TMS might be the right depression therapy for you:
- Depression symptoms have interfered with my daily life.
- My depression medications are not as effective as I have expected.
- I worry about or experience side effects from my depression medications.
- I have switched my depression medications because of side effects.
- I am interested in a proven, non-drug therapy for depression.
Contact us today for a consultation to find out if you are a candidate for TMS.
IS TMS SAFE?
TMS is FDA approved, safe, and with generally no systemic side effects. The grand majority of studies on patients receiving TMS therapy show no cognitive deficits nor memory loss. In fact, cognitive performance actually improved in many of these studies. It is worth mentioning that TMS is currently being investigated for ADHD and Alzheimer’s for its cognitive benefits with promising results so far. TMS has been included in the APA (American Psychiatric Association) guidelines for treatment of depression since 2010.
CAN I USE TMS FOR INDICATIONS OTHER THAN UNIBIPOLAR DEPRESSION?
TMS is used off label for many other conditions, including:
- Bipolar depression
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Depression in pregnancy
- Post-partum depression
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Eating disorders
- Post-stroke recovery
Off label indications may not be reimbursed by insurance, but we may still be able to help with obtaining coverage or helping with financing. Contact us for more information.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS TMS?
In one real world study, results showed that 56.4% responded to treatment while another 28.7% achieved remission.
It is not unusual to have higher rates in clinical practice of up to 70% response rate and 50% remission rate.
HOW LONG DO THE POSITIVE EFFECTS LAST?
TMS is effective and long lasting. In one study, 68% of patients enrolled in the study achieved and maintained response (50% improvement in symptoms) and 45% achieved and maintained remission (were symptom free) for 12 months. In another study, of those patients who responded to TMS, 63% did not require re-intervention and of the 37% that had TMS reintroduced, 85% benefited. At 6 months, only 11% had relapsed.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING TREATMENT?
You will have a consultation with Dr. Greif to determine if you qualify for TMS. If TMS is deemed an appropriate depression therapy for you, then sessions are scheduled immediately.
You will sit comfortably in a reclining chair, while the magnetic pulses are applied to the side of your head. You will hear clicking noises and may feel a tapping sensation on your scalp. Our rooms are well appointed with comfortable dim lighting to promote a relaxing, anxiety-free, and healing environment.
There is no anesthesia used, and you will be alert during the treatment. You may drive yourself to and from appointments and you may resume your daily activities after each treatment.
Treatment course consists of 30 daily Mon-Fri treatments for 6 weeks, followed by a 2 week taper of 3 and 2 sessions.
Dr Greif will follow up with you periodically to assess treatment response and to discuss any concerns that you may have. You will also have 2 follow up appointments after the end of treatment to address any ongoing concerns.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Our goal at LiveWell TMS is to make TMS accessible and affordable. That is why we will be accepting most major insurances in NY including Medicare part B. If we don’t take your insurance, we may be able to contract with your insurance to pay for all or part of the treatment by using single case agreements.
Common criteria for insurance approval of TMS includes:
- Failure of 1-3 antidepressant trials.
- Inability to tolerate antidepressants qualifies as a failure.
- The depression is not part of bipolar depression.
- ECT was recommended but you are unable to undergo the procedure.
If you do not meet the above crietria, your insurance may still reimburse your treatment. At LiveWell TMS, we work with insurance companies to help pay for your treatment. Contact us for more information on financing options.
WHEN WILL I FEEL BETTER?
Most patients start to feel the positive effects of TMS around the 2 week mark, though some may need to wait until the end of treatment to feel the benefits.
CAN I UNDERGO TMS IN LESS THAN 6 WEEKS?
If you have a time issue we can compress your treatments into as little as 10 days by receiving more than one daily treatment. Multiple daily treatments are safe and have been proven just as effective as once daily treatments. However, insurance will only reimburse one treatment session per day. You will be responsible for payment of any additional treatments on any given day. If you have any further questions about insurance coverage, send us a message.
American Psychiatric Association (2010) (eds: Gelenberg AJ, Freeman MP, Markowitz JC, Rosenbaum JF, Thase ME, Trivedi MH, Van Rhoads RS). Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder, 3rd Edition.
Carpenter LL, et al. (2012). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice. Depression and Anxiety, 29(7):587-596. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22689344
 Dunner DL, et al. (2014). A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Patients with Pharmacoresistant Major Depressive Disorder: Durability of Benefit Over a 1-Year Follow-Up Period. J Clin Psychiatry. 75(12):1394-1401. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271871
 Janicak PG, et al. (2010). Durability of Clinical Benefit with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the Treatment of Pharmacoresistant Major Depression: Assessment of Relapse During a 6-Month, Multisite, Open-Label Study. Brain Stimulation, 3(4):187-199. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20965447