Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has gained FDA approval for addressing various conditions such as major depressive disorder, migraines with aura, obsessive-compulsive disorder, smoking cessation, and anxiety associated with depression. This non-invasive treatment method is known for its safety and effectiveness compared to more invasive alternatives.
TMS specialists utilize an electromagnetic field around the head to deliver short pulses to brain cells associated with the specific condition. By non-invasively stimulating these neurons, TMS aims to restore normal function. While generally well-tolerated, it’s crucial to communicate certain information to ensure the safety of the procedure:
Table of Contents
1. Mental Health Disorders
Before embarking on TMS therapy, it’s essential to disclose any previous mental health or substance abuse conditions. This information is crucial, as certain substances can impact the effectiveness and safety of TMS. Given that TMS can influence mood disorders, providing a comprehensive medical history ensures a tailored and safe approach.
2. Metal in Your Body
Since TMS employs MRI-strength magnets, any metal in the body must be disclosed. This includes items such as stents, aneurysm clips, pacemakers, and other implants. Braces and dental fillings are safe, but any non-removable metal within twelve inches of the TMS coil should be communicated.
3. History of Brain Injury or Surgery
TMS providers need to be informed of any history of brain injury, surgeries, or conditions related to brain structure or function. This includes concussions, traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, strokes, and neurological illnesses. Details about persistent headaches or migraines are also crucial for devising an effective treatment plan.
4. Previous Seizures or Family History of Epilepsy
If there’s a history of seizures, substance-related or familial, it should be communicated, as TMS can impact the seizure threshold for some individuals.
5. Allergy List
Disclosing allergies, including dietary, medication, and environmental, is essential. This ensures that the medical team is aware of potential allergic reactions and can take appropriate interventions.
6. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Status
Reproductive status, especially pregnancy or breastfeeding, needs to be communicated, although TMS is considered safer than certain medications during pregnancy.
7. Previous TMS Sessions
Information about any previous TMS sessions is vital for creating an optimal treatment plan. Records detailing dosage, frequency, and duration are necessary for improving future treatments.
8. Any Other Existing Health Problems
Other medical conditions, even if unrelated to the specific procedure, should be communicated. This includes conditions like diabetes or past heart issues that may have a minor impact on TMS.
9. Medications, Vitamins, and Supplements
Certain substances may impact how you respond to TMS therapy, making it essential to share any non-traditional food or beverage items you are currently taking. Make a list of your prescription medications, vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you regularly use. If recalling them is challenging, bring the items with you to ensure accurate documentation of each, including the dosage and frequency of use.
An open and honest conversation with the treatment team before starting TMS treatment is crucial. Disclosing any concerns, questions, or relevant health information ensures a comprehensive and safe approach to your healthcare. Remember, more information is always better than not enough when it comes to your well-being.