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TMS Maintenance

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has proven efficacious in treating mental and neuropathic disorders. But as with other effective remedies for these conditions, maintenance treatment protocols are required to prolong the response and avoid a relapse. TMS maintenance, often administered at a lower intensity than the acute course of treatment, helps prevent a relapse or ease the symptoms if they recur.

Brain Therapy TMS provides TMS maintenance to patients who have received initial acute treatment. Maintenance TMS treatment helps patients achieve longer-lasting effects of the initial treatment. The center employs a holistic approach to treating mental and neuropathic disorders, including incorporating lifestyle changes. Patients who tolerate antidepressants are encouraged to continue using them alongside TMS therapy for improved efficacy.  

What is TMS? 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique to treat treatment-resistant mental and neuropathic disorders. It involves using an electromagnetic coil placed at the top of the patient’s scalp to stimulate the cells in the brain’s region responsible for mood control.

Essentially, the electrically active brain uses small amounts of electricity to relay information throughout the body. When someone is depressed, the depressed regions of the brain are usually inactive. Placing the electromagnetic coil on the patient’s scalp induces electrical activity, activating the inactive area.  

TMS therapy was developed in 1985 and has since been used in trials to treat various mental and neuropathic disorders. In 2008 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of TMS for treating major depression. Since then, other permits have followed for the treatment of other conditions. These include treatment for specific migraine headaches-associated pain in 2013 and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 2018.

TMS has been shown to effectively treat depressive symptoms and reduce side effects in depressed patients. People typically need additional TMS in maintenance sessions after the initial treatment course. 

How Long Can TMS Effects Last?

Studies have found TMS highly effective, with most patients benefiting from the treatment. However, the results vary depending on whether the patients responded or remitted after an entire course of treatment. 

The factors triggering the symptoms may also determine how long a patient sustains the response. This is because the continued presence of these factors may affect their mood and brain functions. But generally, most patients experience relief between six and twelve months after the acute treatment course.

When Is TMS Maintenance Needed?

Most patients experience relief after 4-6 weeks of the acute treatment course, which lasts from six to twelve months. After this, they may need additional treatment to prolong the treatment effects. 

The frequency of additional therapy may vary depending on the severity of the patient’s symptoms. But the intensity and frequency of sessions are much lesser than the initial treatments. 

A study showed that major depressive disorder has a high relapse rate (after 12 weeks), necessitating TMS maintenance sooner. According to the survey, most patients had a relapse only four weeks after the initial recovery. 

To manage the high relapse rate, it is advised that patients continue with their medication and psychotherapy treatment after the initial acute TMS treatment. But once the symptoms recur, the patients can return for a new course of TMS maintenance therapy.

The alternative is to commence TMS maintenance sooner to avoid relapse altogether. In most cases,  a clustered TMS maintenance treatment, usually five sessions concentrated within two days, once per month, has proven effective in preventing a relapse. However, the treatment protocols may vary from provider to provider and could be weekly, biweekly, or monthly.

Lifestyle Changes with TMS

Making lifestyle changes helps improve one’s mood, enhancing the therapy’s efficacy. Some of the highly recommended changes include the following;

Exercise
Regular physical activity is beneficial to mental health in many ways. It helps alleviate stress and anxiety, leading to improved mood. Being physically active also boosts brain activity and enhances sleep quality. Exercising for about 30 minutes five days weekly or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics per week can improve the symptoms, ensuring a better response to the treatment.
Enough sleep
Getting enough sleep each night can help optimize brain function and regulate mood. The recommended hours one should sleep vary depending on age. However, they should be between 7 to 9 hours for adults and 8 to 10 hours for teenagers.
Healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet keeps the body vibrant and healthy. Food affects the brain’s structure and function, ultimately impacting mood and overall mental health. 
Break the cycle of negative thoughts
Negative thoughts plunge one’s mental health into a downward spiral, worsening the symptoms. One should break the negative thought cycle by employing coping mechanisms. Experts recommend various ways of dealing with negative thinking and thought patterns. These include scheduling time to ponder negative thoughts, practicing mindfulness, replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, exercising and meditation, etc.
Avoid substance use
Substance abuse can deteriorate one’s mental health, hindering treatment efficacy. If the patient takes antidepressants alongside the therapy, the drugs may also interfere with the medication’s effectiveness. A patient should thus avoid drug use during the treatment and seek help if they struggle with addiction.   
Making the above changes can drastically improve the patient’s mental health, especially if they respond to the treatment. It could also sustain their response for much longer.  

TMS Maintenance in San Diego

TMS maintenance is vital in treating mental and neuropathic disorders following the initial acute treatment course. It helps prevent relapse and manage symptoms should they recur due to non-maintenance. Most patients experience relief from symptoms for six to twelve months following the initial course of treatment. Therefore, it is essential to commence TMS maintenance sooner to sustain the response for much longer.

Brain Therapy TMS are providers of cutting-edge TMS therapy, including TMS maintenance. They are a dynamic mental health facility that utilizes modern TMS tech, distinguishing them as a leader in this discipline in San Diego. Patients visiting the facility are guaranteed comprehensive assessment, individualized treatment plans, and clinical talk therapy, among other offerings. 

If you or your loved one need TMS maintenance, contact Brain Therapy TMS today for a free assessment and insurance verification.

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