What is maintenance TMS and how durable are the effects of TMS?

What is maintenance TMS and how durable are the effects of TMS?

Although TMS treatment is very effective in treating depression for those who have seen little to no benefit from antidepressant medication, there have been some studies showing that the therapeutic effect of TMS can wane over time. A 2019 study assessing the durability of TMS antidepressant effects showed that around half of TMS patients saw some regression in their depressive symptoms 12 months after their initial TMS course of treatment.

Here’s where maintenance TMS can help! When patients complete a course of TMS treatment that significantly lowers their depressive symptoms, maintenance TMS can often be used to “maintain” the improvements that patients feel. Maintenance TMS is when additional TMS treatments are administered, usually at a lower frequency than the initial TMS course of treatment, in order to extend the therapeutic effects of TMS. A 2022 review of 30 different studies on maintenance TMS showed clear support for both the safety and effectiveness of maintenance TMS for those who have not responded well to other antidepressant medications.

At Houston Mind and Brain, on top of normal TMS treatments, we offer maintenance TMS under special circumstances to patients who have responded well to their initial TMS course of treatment and would like the additional reassurance of maintaining their improved depressive symptoms. These decisions are discussed with Dr. Raymond Cho, who is a board-certified psychiatrist with extensive experience in brain stimulation. If you are interested in learning more about TMS for depression, give us a call at (832) 699-7922!

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