Because of the various factors that influence each person's depression, there is no definite answer as to how long EMT results will last. Most patients who complete the full course of treatment experience an improvement in their symptoms for six months to a year or more. When wondering how long the effects of TMS treatment last, it's important to know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to depression. Because of the various factors mentioned above that influence major depression, each patient will have their own unique response to EMT therapy.
In many cases, a treatment regimen of 4 to 6 weeks will provide a remission that lasts about six months or more. Occasional EMT maintenance sessions are sometimes needed to prolong remission. Some patients may be placed on a post-TMS schedule of one session per month for a specified period of time. It takes time to complete a full course of EMT treatment.
Individual outcomes will vary, as might be expected depending on the unique challenges presented by each case of major depression. Most patients who complete treatment for TMS experience relief from symptoms of depression for six months to a year. Your results could also last more than a year. The answer is that the duration of TMS varies from patient to patient.
Many of my patients are still in remission one year after treatment, but others require intermittent maintenance treatments before that date. These maintenance treatments are covered by insurance. If a patient feels that his symptoms of depression recur after undergoing EMT, he should contact his psychiatrist. Maintenance treatments may be needed if symptoms return and another round of EMT treatment may be necessary if the patient has experienced a complete relapse.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a novel therapy for treatment-resistant depression that has received a lot of attention recently. The first appointment is called “EMT induction”, which includes brain mapping, motor threshold determination and initial treatment session. We have no data on whether EMT is effective or not if treatments are administered with less frequent sessions. Studies have shown that reintroduction of EMT when symptoms recur can restore the positive effects of the initial course of TMS.
However, TMS is an intensive treatment, and the first round of sessions usually lasts five days a week for four to six weeks. For patients who can tolerate antidepressants, there is evidence that these drugs may increase the results of EMT treatment or vice versa. The EMT physician then measures the patient's motor threshold, delivering several brief pulses. Keep in mind that unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), there is no memory loss or confusion associated with EMT treatments.
People usually don't need to prepare for EMT therapy and can resume their daily schedule right after. However, there is more and more research on the subject, and the consensus is that there are no long-term negative effects of repetitive treatment of TMS.