ChristianaCare

Behavioral Health

Frequently Asked Questions About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

How does transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy work?

You recline in a special chair. A coil, located inside a hand-sized plastic case, is placed on the left front side of your head. The coil delivers magnetic pulses to your brain’s prefrontal cortex. These pulses trigger your brain cells to release serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters into your brain’s cerebral cortex. These chemical stimulations may help boost your mood.

Will I feel the magnetic pulse?

No. The technology is similar to what occurs when you get an MRI scan. It generates a small but extremely targeted amount of electricity that you cannot feel. No sedation or muscle relaxants are required, and the procedure is completely noninvasive. You can even drive to and from your appointments.

Can I do anything while I get the treatments?

Yes. You may remain awake during the treatment and read or watch television. Or you may choose to sleep, though the coil periodically makes a tapping sound.

How often will I receive treatments?

Each treatment takes about 40 minutes. You will receive treatments five times a week for four to six weeks. A psychiatrist must prescribe and supervise the administration of the therapy.

Are there any side effects?

Mild to moderate scalp pain is the most common side effect. Some people get headaches, but over-the-counter pain medicine can provide relief. Although extremely rare, seizures can occur.

Will my insurance cover this treatment?

Because transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is relatively new, not all insurance companies cover the treatments. Our center will help patients seek reimbursement whenever possible.

Behavioral Health
205 W. 14th St., Suite 100, Wilmington, DE 19801 directions
302-320-2100