TMS Therapy

TMS Therapy

Dr. Ferguson has built her practice on helping patients who have tried many medications and the medications have failed to help them. She has treated countless patients who have suffered from medication side effects such as diabetes, weight gain, sexual dysfunction and hair loss. She has counseled numerous pregnant and breastfeeding women who have to make agonizing choices about how to treat their mental illness.

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Dr. Ferguson wants people to know there are more options to treat mental illness, particularly major depression, than is widely known. Many are aware of treating depression with medications, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive treatment. They may not be as familiar with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a treatment for major depression, despite the increasing new coverage.

TMS effectively treats a variety of illnesses ranging from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, tinnitus and anxiety but many of the studies focus on depression. It uses a magnetic field that is aimed precisely to stimulate specific nerve cells in the brain. Since it affects only those cells, it could not cause the destructive side effects.   You are wide awake, alert and comfortable in an outpatient setting. This is particularly important for victims of trauma.  You do not have to alter your daily activities before or after a treatment session.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first TMS device in the United States for the treatment of patients with major depression who have failed at least one medication.

This was great news! Dr. Ferguson became convinced that TMS was an important weapon to fight depression and other illnesses. She saw patients get better, not fatter. It was a treatment that could be used in conjunction with medications, psychotherapy and even electroconvulsive therapy.

Dr. Ferguson and her TMS Coordinator, Caroline DeTurris, aptly re-named themselves the TMS Hope Center of Long Island after observing how TMS gave people who were feeling hopeless, helpless and worthless, their lives back. TMS gave their families their loved ones back.

Find out if you are a candidate for this important treatment.

TMS Therapy FAQ's

TMS Therapy FAQs – call 631-760-1830

What is TMS Therapy and how does it work?

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is the first and only FDA approved treatment for depression that does not require medication or hospitalization.

It works by stimulating the brain non-invasively using an electromagnetic field, similar to those magnetic fields produced by an MRI machine. By laying the device against the head, a magnetic pulse is administered to the part of the brain associated with depression. It is a safe and effective treatment performed in a psychiatrist’s office. Patients remain awake and alert and are able to resume their daily activities at the end of the session.

What is a typical course of treatment with TMS Therapy?

The duration of each session and the number of sessions vary depending on what diagnosis is being treated.

In clinical trials for depression, for example, patients received TMS Therapy 5 times per week for 4-6 weeks. Session can last as little as 19 minutes.

Are there any side effects associated with TMS Therapy?

Unlike medication, TMS does not travel through the bloodstream. Therefore it does not cause unwanted side effects such as nausea, weight gain, sedation, upset stomach, sexual dysfunction, etc. The most common side effect associated with TMS treatment is scalp discomfort during treatment sessions — generally mild to moderate and is treated by adjusting the device that administers the TMS. If necessary, this discomfort can be treated with an over-the-counter analgesic.  It usually dissipates after a few sessions and patients are able to relax and feel at ease fairly quickly. Notably, less than 5% of patients treated with TMS Therapy discontinued treatment due to side effects.

Does TMS Therapy cause brain tumors?

No, TMS Therapy uses the same type and strength of magnetic fields as MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging), which have been used in tens of millions of patients around the world and have not been shown to cause tumors. The magnetic energy used in a full course of TMS Therapy is a small fraction of just one brain scan with an MRI.

Does TMS cause memory loss?

No, TMS Therapy was systematically evaluated for its effects on memory. Clinical trials demonstrated that TMS Therapy does not result in any negative effects on memory or concentration.

Can I also take antidepressant(s) if I am receiving TMS Therapy?

Yes. In clinical trials, TMS Therapy was safely administered with and without other antidepressant medications.  Tell us what medications you are taking, so we advise you properly.

Who should not receive TMS Therapy?

TMS Therapy should not be used (is contraindicated) in patients with implanted metallic devices or non-removable metallic objects in or around the head. TMS Therapy should be used with caution in patients with implanted devices that are controlled by physiological signals. This includes pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). It should be used in caution with patients using wearable cardioverter defibrillators.

Will TMS Therapy be covered by my insurance?

We accept insurance for TMS.  We deal with your insurance company for you.  It can get complicated but in general, health insurers are recognizing the efficacy of TMS as a standard of care in routine clinical use and getting TMS covered is not as problematic as it used to be.  We have had success in receiving coverage from the following:

  • Medicare
  • Empire Blue Cross (Anthem)
  • GHI (Emblem)
  • United HealthCare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • ValueOptions – Beacon
  • Empire NYSHIP

 

 

Is TMS affordable?

This is the common question but not the most important one.  In considering the cost of TMS Therapy, you should ask yourself about the cost of having a mental illness on you, those around you, on work productivity, and on society in general. It leads to other stressors such as financial and that can make it harder to feel better.  Take a step back and think about how it feels to not be at your best.  How has it affected your life, your relationships, your health, and your work? How would your life change and your environment change for the better if you felt better and were in remission?

Insurance companies usually cover TMS in full or in part.  Our office does a thorough Benefits Investigation for you and if we find that TMS is not automatically covered, then we work to get it covered.  We have worked successfully with insurance companies such as:

  • Empire Blue Cross (Anthem)
  • Medicare
  • Aetna
  • GHI (Emblem)
  • United HealthCare
  • Empire NYSHIP
  • Beacon
  • and more!

Please do not hesitate to call us and see if TMS can benefit you.

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We can’t wait to meet you.

TMS Therapy Testimonials

“I went into it expecting to get nothing out of it as that has generally been my experience with treatments since being diagnosed with depression 12 years ago. I gradually felt positive changes over the first two months and I was honestly shocked that it worked.  I feel more optimistic about living a fulfilling life, I’m doing more things I enjoy, reconnecting with friends, leaving my apartment more regularly. TMS has made a noticeable change in how I cope with depression vs. years of failed medication treatments.”

“Mood much better, better outlook, less fights with my family. Happier.”

“I feel amazing. Before TMS it seemed I was never really part of what was happening. Now I feel as though I am living life for the first time that I can remember! The best thing to come my way in a long time! Thank you! ”

“I have been getting up with a brighter outlook on life and I am starting to reclaim my life.”

“I wake up with a much better attitude and look forward to the day. Hope has returned in my life. ”

“I got my normal, happy, relaxed life back because of TMS treatments. I am feeling great. I call it my “mental miracle” that restored me to my normal healthy lifestyle. I am very grateful for TMS.”

“Dear Dr. Ferguson and Caroline, I just wanted you to know how much better ****** is. She is totally off meds (her own choice) and in her words “fabulous!”. It was a little scary after she finished the treatment and we thought of the possibility of ECT. She began tapering off her meds. A couple of weeks later she began feeling better. Thank you!”

“***** was on high doses of medication and therapy and nothing was working for her. We chose TMS after much research and during her TMS treatments she was still on medications. Since completing TMS, she is now off all medications and no longer feeling depressed, cutting herself or suicidal.”

“I am happier, enjoy more things and feel better about life and myself.”

“I feel better about myself and have learned how to get myself to feel better through breathing and tension exercises. Caroline was a great help with this and hints on how to get rid of bad thoughts. ”

“First, I want to say that I am honored to have the chance to write this testimonial on the tremendous effect TMS© Therapy has had on my battle with depression. It was about a year ago when I walked into Dr. Ferguson’s office for the first time. I had been to dozens of doctors prior and came with a discerning mind set. Almost immediately I felt at ease with Dr. Ferguson. She actually listened with empathy and was interested in my story instead of my “diagnosis”. Behind the doctor was a chair. It looked like a dentist’s chair with an odd head piece. To be completely honest it was a bit concerning. Immediately I asked Dr. Ferguson what it was. She began to explain what TMS© Therapy was. Her explanation went right over my head but I was intrigued and took the information she gave me to read. From that point on is when I started to win the battle with my depression.

I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when I was twenty-two years old but had been suffering from devastating mood swings from the age of fifteen. I suffered with eating disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, and suicidal ideation continuously. I was hospitalized three times. I was able to go to school and keep a job but my depression made my life unbearable most of the time. I was put on what seemed like every type of drug that exists. Sometimes they would work for a month or two but I would wind up spiraling back down once the medication stopped working. Sometimes they would make me manic which created financial disaster and destroy relationships. This was the general picture of my life until TMS©. I must be honest and say that I had my doubts but at that point I was willing to try anything.

Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel when I am able to say that I have gone from taking five different types of medications for my depression and anxiety to two. I am also on lower doses of those medications than I have ever been since I started taking medication. I am clean and sober, eating healthy, and maintaining a healthy weight. I have gained the confidence to start my own practice that I had been struggling to do for months. Seven months! I have been suffering for over fifteen years and in seven months my life was given back to me. I am still not sure how “the chair” works but I am not so interested in the mechanics anymore, only the miracles.”