Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Is Now Available At Our New Centre In Brighton
Neurocentrix is now open at 202 New St, Brighton. Patients with depression may be eligible for TMS with a Medicare rebate. The rebate extends for an initial course of 35 sessions.
Patients travelling from another suburb often find it helpful to combine their session with some gentle exercise and a relaxing activity in the area, and for that, Brighton has much to offer.
You may like to take the short stroll down Park Street to Brighton Beach. From there you can continue along the Esplanade to see the famous Brighton Bathing Boxes. Pressing on past Dendy Street Beach you will reach the beautiful Foreshore Reserve with majestic views of the city skyline across the water.
In the other direction you can visit The Baths Restaurant or have take-away fish and chips from the Kiosk and venture along Middle Brighton Pier to view the boats of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
Further along the beach you will find the Emu Constellation mural, North Road Reserve, and the North Point Café. One day you could park there and walk along the Foreshore Trail to reach Elwood Pier and then Elwood Beach.
Another day you can take a short walk up New St to see the elegant grounds of Brighton Grammar School and the historic architecture of St Andrew’s Church, with its famous organ and Melbourne’s oldest churchyard cemetery.
Taking the car this time, a couple of kilometres away is the peaceful seclusion of Landcox Park with its pretty lake and small island, home to ducks and native birds.
Depression can leave you feeling bereft of motivation and ideas, so taking up some of these ideas may help you manage your recovery. Staff at Neurocentrix are always eager to offer further suggestions and information.
What is TMS?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a recognised treatment for depression and other neurological conditions.
Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of TMS in the treatment of depression, particularly in patients who have not responded well to anti-depressant medication.
TMS is a non-invasive treatment delivered by an external magnetic coil placed lightly touching the scalp. The coil sends repetitive electromagnetic pulses to stimulate neuron activity in specific surface areas of the brain that regulate mood.
TMS is a recognised treatment for depression by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP Position Statement 79 – Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation).
What Conditions Does TMS Treat?
The most common condition for TMS treatment is depression.
TMS has also been used to treat:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- auditory hallucinations,
- post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD),
- tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
How Does TMS Treatment Work?
Our brains help manage our thoughts via electrical and chemical messengers. Each thought is associated with certain pathways that these signals travel along. The more our brain practices certain pathways the better it gets at whatever we practice.
In depression, the brain has significantly less activity in the frontal lobe and limbic system. We can actually see this in CT scans. In depression you could say the limbic system is way out of practice.
In TMS therapy, a coil is placed over the head and uses an electromagnetic field to induce an action potential in the neurons of the brain, a clinical term which basically means it activates the neuron. An action potential in one neuron causes others around it to fire, and so on.
Repeated stimulation reaches deep areas of our brain using this neuron roadway. Specifically, the limbic system trains the known pathways that are associated with being happier, more relaxed, content and less anxious.
While a single positive thought can train a particular pathway once, a single TMS treatment session can practice that same pathway 3000-5000 times.
A typical course of TMS of 30 sessions can stimulate positive pathways 90,000-150,000 times. It is thought that this practice is what leads to the improvement in mood that we see clinically.
Just imagine practicing kicking a football or practicing a golf swing 150,000 times, you would become very skilled. It is just like this, practice makes perfect. It’s like muscle memory for your brain.
How is TMS Treatment Performed?
To undergo TMS therapy, there is no need for fasting or an anaesthetic. The patient sits comfortably in a reclining armchair and is awake throughout each treatment. The patient’s head is carefully measured by a trained technician to determine the optimal location for treatment.
TMS treatment is non-invasive. The stimulating coil is placed beside the head, lightly touching the scalp. The patient will hear a ticking sound and may feel a mild tapping sensation on the side of their head.
TMS treatment is provided on an outpatient basis or can be part of a treatment plan for hospital in-patients.
How Long Does TMS treatment Take?
TMS treatment is generally administered as a course of 30 treatments over six weeks.
Regular psychometric testing is conducted to monitor your response to treatment. At the end of the course of treatment, a NeuroCentrix psychiatrist will discuss the psychometric test results with you and report to your treating physician.
When patients have achieved significant improvement in their condition, a maintenance course of treatment is often recommended.
Are There Any Side Effects?
TMS therapy is generally well tolerated but may produce some side effects such as:
- tension headache,
- a tingling sensation in the face or discomfort at the application site.
Headache is the most common side effect which responds to over the counter painkillers. Most people find that side effects lessen as treatment progresses.
Unlike some other depression therapies, TMS treatment does not cause memory loss, weight gain or loss of libido.
There is a small risk of seizure. If you suffer from epilepsy or have had a head injury, you may not be suitable for TMS treatment.
To date, there have been no recognised long-term negative effects reported from TMS treatment. However, it should be noted that TMS is a relatively new treatment and research into long-term effects is on going.
Is TMS Right for Me?
TMS is only offered after a thorough assessment and discussion with one of our psychiatrists. However, TMS may be right for you if:
- You suffer from symptoms of depression
- Anti-depressants have failed to remove your symptoms
- Anti-depressants have caused unpleasant side effects
- You cannot take anti-depressants because of another condition.
On the other hand, TMS is unlikely to be suitable if you have a metal implant, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator
Do I Need a Referral?
What Does TMS Cost?
TMS treatment for depression at NeuroCentrix clinics typically consists of 20 to 30 sessions delivered as an outpatient over 3 to 6 weeks. Outpatient treatment allows you to stay at home with family and friends during treatment rather than being admitted to hospital.
Following your initial course of TMS, your doctor may recommend maintenance treatment.
Treatment costs may be met in full for serving military, DVA, and WorkCover patients upon successful application. After referral to NeuroCentrix, we look after the paperwork and prepare the application on your behalf.
Private treatment is available at $185 per session. Medicare does not currently rebate TMS treatment, however some private health funds cover the cost of outpatient TMS.
Speak to our specialist team for more details.