There are two primary forms of TMS: traditional TMS and deep TMS. These two TMS treatment methods differ in the type of coil used to deliver magnetic pulses to the brain. Traditional TMS, which uses a ‘figure-of-8’ coil (because of its shape), was developed before deep TMS and is most common throughout the TMS industry. On the other hand, deep TMS, which uses a unique ‘H coil’, was developed more recently and FDA-approved for depression in 2013. Whereas it can be difficult to ensure capturing the target region using traditional TMS, the H coil used by deep TMS delivers deeper and broader stimulation to the brain regions targeted in TMS. This allows deep TMS to more effectively engage and stimulate the target brain regions involved in the emotional regulation network.
How do clinical results compare between deep TMS and traditional TMS? A 2019 meta-analysis of deep TMS versus traditional TMS found that deep TMS consistently demonstrated a larger reduction in depressive severity compared to traditional TMS. In addition, a 2019 randomized clinical trial in a head-to-head comparison of deep TMS vs. traditional TMS reported a similar effect, with deep TMS lowering HAM-D17 scores by 59% versus 41% for traditional TMS.
In terms of safety, numerous studies have shown that both deep TMS and traditional TMS have been shown to be extremely safe, with no significant adverse effects, usually limited to local discomfort in the scalp area (seizures are very rare, with 0.56% rate for H coils).
At Houston Mind and Brain, we are proud to partner with Brainsway to offer state-of-the-art deep TMS for depression, OCD, and other conditions. Our TMS treatments are carried out under the supervision of Dr. Raymond Cho MD, a board certified psychiatrist with over 26 years of clinical and research practice. If you’re interested in how our TMS treatments can help you, you can give us a call at (832) 699-7922!