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If you’re struggling to find remedies for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) or severe Major Depressive Disorder, SunCloud Health is here to help. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS, is a comfortable, non-invasive, and anesthesia-free treatment offering solutions for those who may have exhausted all other options. We’re proud to provide TMS therapy in the comfort and privacy of our Northbrook, Illinois, office, convenient to Chicago and the north suburbs. 

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What is TMS?

A Transformative Treatment for Depression

Originally developed to treat severe depression resistant to other therapies, TMS therapy is an exciting advancement in care that provides relief when all other treatments have been unsuccessful, and with only mild side effects. In fact, studies have shown that TMS treatment for depression can relieve symptoms such as restlessness, sleep loss, irritability, shortness of breath, muscle tension, problems with concentration, and more.



How TMS Therapy Works

In patients experiencing severe depression, electrical activity in certain areas of the brain is reduced. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a highly targeted treatment that focuses on sending electrical pulses to those areas that are driving the worst symptoms of depression.

A special electromagnetic coil is placed on the forehead, where it delivers short, repeated signals, or pulses, that stimulate nerve cells in the targeted area. By targeting these areas, the magnetic pulses create an electrical current that stimulates and reawakens affected nerve cells, thereby increasing brain activity and restoring it back to normal levels. Most TMS treatments last between 20 and 60 minutes, with patients remaining awake throughout the procedure. 

TMS therapy gains effectiveness over a series of sessions rather than taking effect all at once. Your care team will talk with you about the number of sessions recommended and the best schedule to follow. We then coordinate with your primary care physician and other health providers as needed to deliver quality care that addresses your individual needs.

Explore the Benefits of TMS 

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Who is a good candidate for TMS therapy?

Many people feel depressed from time to time, but some experience chronic, life-changing depression that experts say may relate to abnormalities in a specific area of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is typically prescribed to adult patients when antidepressants haven’t worked, or the side effects are intolerable.

Other indications for TMS may include lack of progress with talk therapy, or poor experiences with treatments like Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), also known as “shock therapy,” which resulted in fuzzy thinking or memory loss.

If your medication isn’t working or has unpleasant side effects, current treatment isn’t working, or therapy has helped a bit though you don’t feel like your old self yet, you may be a candidate for TMS. Contact the team at SunCloud Health to discuss your options or learn more about TMS treatment for depression.

What defines treatment-resistant depression?

Treatment-Resistant Depression, or TRD, refers to a depressive disorder not responding to talk therapy or medication. Antidepressant medications don’t work for everyone. In fact, ⅔ of people don’t get adequate relief from the first one they try, and switching medications doesn’t always help. Similarly, patients may have experienced unpleasant side effects from other forms of therapy while also not addressing the core problem. TMS is a severe depression treatment offering a non-invasive approach to therapy when all other avenues have failed.

What are the possible side effects of TMS?

One of the greatest benefits of TMS for treatment-resistant depression is the low risk for side effects. When compared with medications, shock treatment, and other standard therapies often used for depression and other mental health conditions, transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has few if any troubling side effects. They might include:

  • Tingling or muscle contractions during the procedure
  • Mild headaches or brief light-headedness
  • Slight discomfort near where the magnetic device is placed

Seizures are possible, but two large-scale studies revealed no incidents of seizures during TMS treatment. When compared with medications, shock treatment, and other standard therapies often used for depression and other mental health conditions, TMS has few if any troubling side effects.

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