What is TMS?
TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, where a mild magnetic pulse is targeted to specific areas of the brain. It is an effective tool to treat depression, anxiety, and many other neuropsychiatric symptoms. Traditional TMS treatments consist of daily 1+ hour treatments for a duration of 6 weeks.
What is the newer TBS?
TBS stands for Theta Burst Stimulation, which is the newest form of TMS. It represents a giant leap forward for mental healthcare. TBS sessions require only 5-10 minutes (in contrast to traditional TMS sessions which require over an hour). TBS is rendered by specially-equipped TMS machines utilizing a newer stimulation pattern which closely resembles the natural neural firing pattern in the human brain.
What is the Accelerated TBS Protocol?
The Accelerated TBS Protocol compresses an entire course of traditional TMS treatment (usually 6 weeks) down to only 10-15 days. More importantly, preliminary research suggests that its outcomes could be superior to traditional TMS.
The beauty of TBS is the fact that multiple treatments can be administered in a single day simply by pausing for several minutes in between treatments. So in a single morning or afternoon, a patient can receive numerous extended TBS treatments, equivalent to many days (or weeks) of traditional TMS.
How Well Does it Work?
Early research suggests that Accelerated TBS Protocols work exceptionally well. It not only make TMS more practical, but more importantly – it seems to have a cumulative rapid effect and could be resulting in superior outcomes. This may alter the way mental health treatment is practiced for years to come.
Ongoing research at Stanford University is studying the outcome of Accelerated TBS on the most severely depressed patients: those who are hospitalized and have already had many treatments fail for them (including psychotherapy, medications, traditional TMS, ketamine infusions, and even ECT). Preliminary data suggest that 90% of patients improve, and 80-85% of them are going into full remission *within the 5 day protocol.*
Accelerated TBS could represent a giant leap forward for people struggling with mental illness. Patients no longer have to suffer for weeks to feel better, but are now starting feeling better in only hours or days.
Does it Do Anything Else?
Protocols have been designed for many different conditions, including depression (and bipolar & schizoaffective depression), anxiety disorders, OCD, drug relapse prevention, pain, and more.
Accelerated TBS protocols not only compressed treatment into a mere 5 days, but it can also give the patient and clinician more time to work together. In between sessions, the patient can meet with a psychiatrist and discuss medication management, undergo specialized neurocognitive or psychological testing, undergo psychotherapy or cognitive therapy with a trained psychotherapist, or participate in family therapy.
Where is it done?
The treatment is typically done at our office in Santa Monica. CNS Health also owns the only Mobile TMS Suite in the entire country, which can bring the entire treatment team out to private treatment centers and residences.
If you are interested in our Accelerated TBS Protocol, please call the office at 310-440-9800.