Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic

The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinic at Boston Medical Center provides care to patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), particularly those who have failed multiple antidepressant trials or experienced intolerable side effects.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)?
TMS is non-invasive technique that utilizes a metal coil to generate electrical signals that modulate brain networks associated with depression. A typical TMS treatment course consists of daily sessions (Monday to Friday) over the course of 6-8 weeks, followed by a tapering period, for a total of 36 sessions.

What is expected during a TMS session?
During the first session, a device will be used to assess the correct location of the coil and the intensity of the stimulation based on each person specific brain activity. Patients will sit in a comfortable reclining chair while a TMS coil rest and stimulates the specific area of their head.  Patients are awake during the session, which can last between 3-37 minutes depending on the protocol used. Patients can resume their daily activities afterwards.

What are the side effects of TMS?
The most common side effects of TMS are scalp discomfort or pain during treatment, mild headaches or feeling lightheaded. However, less than a third of patients have reported these symptoms and they usually subside shortly after the first week of treatment. TMS carries a risk for seizures, but this risk has been estimated at less than 1% and in patients with risk factors such as a history of epilepsy and active drug use. TMS is contraindicated in patients with a history of uncontrolled seizures, cochlear implants, or any metal devices in the head area.

How can I refer a patient?
Referrals can be made via EPIC by searching “TMS” or by filling a referral form available here. To be eligible for our services, patients must have a referring clinician or prescriber who follow them longitudinally for routine psychiatric care.

For more information or to make a referral please email or call 617-414-2361.