TMS should be considered as part of the spectrum of treatment options currently available for the treatment of depression. Treatment with TMS can occur in combination with psychological therapies or medications. This depends on the care needs and symptom profile of the individual patient.
There is minimal evidence supporting the concurrent use of TMS and ECT.
The current state of understanding of these two treatment modalities suggest distinct mechanisms of action and side effect profile, and therefore best considered distinct therapeutic modalities in their own right. Patients whose depression has not responded to one modality may well respond to the other.
TMS for Depression
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a proven treatment for depression.
Studies have evaluated the role of TMS in the treatment of depression since the mid-1990s. These studies have clearly shown that TMS is more effective than a placebo type of stimulation, especially in patients who have not responded well to antidepressant medication treatment.
By comparison, more than 40% of patients with depression do not respond to antidepressant medications.
For the majority of depression patients, TMS therapy can provide relief within 6 weeks.