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What is TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS is an FDA approved treatment for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), especially for individuals who have not responded to medications & counseling. 

TMS uses magnetic pulses to reset and grow the brain’s neural pathways to improve depression, anxiety, & OCD symptoms. Research also shows that TMS can be effective in reducing the symptoms of other mental health disorders (e.g. PTSD, Addictions, Bipolar Depression, Cognitive Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder). 

How does TMS work?

In depression, specific parts of the brain are less active. 

Brain imaging studies show the clear difference between a depressed brain and non-depressed brain. The depressed brain has less activity and connectivity.

Less activity means that important brain areas are not functioning and communicating like they should. This causes symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, impaired concentration, fatigue, sleep problems, among others.

TMS uses magnetic pulses to "Reset" and grow brain areas and their neural pathways.

TMS uses magnetic pulses to activate brain networks by restoring and creating new neural pathways. This increases neurotransmitters like dopamine or serotonin improving mood, anxiety, energy, and concentration. 

With each TMS session, neuroplasicity increases brain connectivity. This improves communication between important brain areas further improving symptoms and leading to lasting results. 

In depression, TMS targets the left frontal lobe. This improves four major areas of function; Psychomotor, Cognitive, Emotional, Neurovegetative.

Interested in TMS?

Why Choose El Paso TMS?

At El Paso TMS, our commitment to client-centered care is key. We pride ourselves on our extensive experience and training, ensuring that every patient receives the highest standard of care in a spa-like environment. Additionally, our use of the latest technology improves patients’ experience and importantly, patients’ outcomes.

We are the only clinic in El Paso that utilizes both:

Neural Navigation to pinpoint the precise treatment location, enhancing accuracy by better locating the specific site for treatment or integrating existing MRI data.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) brain mapping, which allows us to tailor TMS stimulation to match your brain’s unique wave frequency. This personalized approach ensures that our treatments are not only effective but also tailored to each individual’s needs.

Experienced, Personalized, & Evidence-Based Care

At our clinic, we are proud to offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a cornerstone of our commitment to experienced and evidence-based mental health care. Our achievements in this innovative field are a testament to our dedication and expertise to your mental health. 

>1,000

Patients Treated
with TMS

>24,000

TMS Sessions
Adminstered

>73 million

Magnetic Pulses
Delivered

>100

EEG Personalized TMS Treatments Administered

4.9/5

Patient Satisfaction Rating on Healthgrades

6

Collaborating Mental Health Professionals

4

CloudTMS
Machines

2

TMS Clinic
Locations

285

Patients were included in our Study

69.5%

had a 50% Reduction in Depression

47%

were in Remission at Completion

13%

did not respond to treatment

El Paso TMS Success Rates

At our clinic, we’re not just committed to providing exceptional care; we’re also dedicated to advancing the field of mental health through rigorous scientific research. This commitment is exemplified by Dr. John Capps, a key member of our team since 2019. Dr. Capps completed his PhD in 2023 at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

His PhD dissertation research, based on data from 285 patients from our clinic, is a significant contribution to the field of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and its effectiveness in treating depression.The results showed 3 categories of response during TMS treatment for depression.

The majority (56.5%) had an excellent response, another large proportion (30.2%) were responsive, while only 13.2% did not respond to TMS treatments. Various clinical and demographical variables were associated with each group.

Click the button below to delve deeper into his findings and more research on the effectiveness of TMS.

Understanding Your Insurance's Coverage for TMS

Most leading insurance providers offer coverage for TMS treatments for major depressive disorder and OCD. Our team will work closely with your health insurance benefits, manage any necessary pre-authorizations, and ensure you are fully informed about your coverage and payment options prior to starting treatment.

BlueCross BlueShield logo with the iconic blue cross and blue shield symbols
TRICARE official logo with red stripes, blue stars, and the registered trademark symbol
Cigna official logo with a stylized tree figure representing growth and wellness.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs official logo with the VA monogram and the American eagle emblem
Aetna's official logo in purple with the service mark symbol.
Cigna official logo with a stylized tree figure representing growth and wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. It is used to treat depression by stimulating the brain non-invasively using electromagnetic fields, similar to those produced by an MRI machine. During TMS Therapy, a magnetic field is administered in very short pulses to the part of the brain that research has demonstrated to be associated with depression. The typical initial course of treatment is 19 minutes daily over 8 weeks for a total of 36 sessions. 

The mechanism of action of TMS is still not fully understood however the response to therapy is indisputable and has consistently demonstrated results in the majority of research being done in the field. The TMS electromagnetic pulse is generated by electrical current running through the TMS coil which by method of induction (Faraday’s law) generates a magnetic field perpendicular to the coil. This magnetic field passes through the skull unimpeded and in turn generates a corresponding electric field in the brain also by method of induction. This electric field is conducted by neural pathways under the coil in a somewhat unpredicable way as brain tissue is not uniform and anatomy varies from indivual to individual. Neurons are conductive just like the rest of the nerve fibers in your body. Depending on the protocol used and frequency of TMS pulse entire regions of neurons under the coil can either become excited or inhibited. In Depression, neurons in the left DLPFC (Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) are targeted by the coil with an excitatory protocol (FDA cleared). Subtle changes in brain state as a result of TMS can last up to several hours and even days after a TMS session has been performed. If done repetitively over a 3-6 week period TMS induces structural changes in the brain where the coil has been placed. Increased gray matter density and blood flow to the part of the brain stimulated have all been clearly demonstrated in research using MRI brain scans.

Not everyone responds to TMS therapy for Depression but most people will. Many clinicians see a 70% – 80% response rate in their patient population. At least half of these responders will achieve full remission. In the literature TMS response rates when treating Depression have been shown to be at least as effective as medications used to treat Depression. And of course without all the side effects that medications bring.

Many patients say they can still feel benefit from TMS therapy years after their first round of TMS treatment. The effect appears to be quite durable especially in people who respond well to treatment. In some cases patients will go back for a few TMS maintenance sessions 3-6 months after their initial treatment.

Painful no. Uncomfortable? It depends on the individual. In the great majority of patients TMS is well tolerated with only minor discomfort on the scalp where TMS is applied. Most people describe TMS as a light to moderate tapping sensation where the coil is being applied. The sensation of the pulse may feel similar to a TENS unit.

The reason for this is that there are several nerves in the scalp where TMS is being applied. Naturally some of these nerves will also be lightly stimulated by the TMS coil as they are also conductive and will pick up the pulse. This is the part of the TMS that you can feel. You cannot feel TMS in your brain, as the brain has no pain receptors itself.

And even though stimulation of the scalp nerves may cause some discomfortat at first, this too subsides as the patient progresses through treatment.

 

The most commonly reported side effects during clinical trials were headache and scalp discomfort. These potential side effects were typically mild to moderate, and were less common after the first week of treatment. During clinical trials, less than 5% of patients treated with TMS discontinued treatment due to side effects. If necessary, headaches from TMS can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications. If the side effects persist, the strength of the TMS pulses can be temporarily reduced to ensure the comfort of the patient.

 

Patients are asked to abstain from alcohol during the course of their TMS treatment.

 

Most patients start experiencing relief after 5-10 sessions but this can vary greatly depending on the severity of Depression and the individual’s unique genetic makeup. Some may not feel the effects of TMS until as many as 40 sessions while some may feel the effect almost immediately after their first.

 

Yes, patients are able to resume normal activities after the treatment.

 

Insurance coverage for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatments varies, particularly when considering different mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

For depression, many insurance companies offer coverage for TMS therapy. This is often contingent on patients demonstrating a history of unsuccessful treatments with antidepressants. Usually, this involves trying and failing to respond adequately to at least two to four antidepressant medications from different drug classes. However, specific requirements can vary significantly between insurance providers. Therefore our team will verify with your insurance company to understand the exact coverage details for TMS therapy in the context of depression treatment.

While TMS is FDA-approved for treating OCD, coverage for TMS therapy for OCD is not as widely available as it is for depression. Some insurance companies are starting to recognize the benefits of TMS for these conditions and may provide coverage, but this is less common and often requires specific criteria to be met. These criteria can include failed medication trials. Again,our team will consult with your insurance provider for the most accurate information regarding your coverage.

Ready to Begin your Journey to Wellness?

Complete the following short questionnaire to see if TMS is right for you or your loved one. Then our TMS Coordinator will be in contact with you to provide you with more information and begin the process of TMS treatment. Click here to learn more about the TMS Treatment Process. 

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