In the United States, the FDA-approved procedure for treating depression with TMS uses a protocol of repetitive, single-burst stimuli, called rTMS. This protocol, which has been practiced since 2008 in the US, is safe, effective and well-tolerated. However, new, potentially better TMS protocols are on the horizon. In fact, European researchers have been developing and implementing a new TMS protocol called Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS) with very promising results!
Just like conventional rTMS, theta burst therapy uses magnetic energy to stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain and improve depressive symptoms. The difference lies in how the stimulation is delivered. The Theta Burst protocol delivers stimuli in a unique pattern—three rapid bursts of pulses at 50 hz, repeated every 200 ms. Compared to the conventional rTMS, this protocol more continuously stimulates the brain. As a result, the treatment time is greatly reduced. Theta Burst Stimulation only takes 4 minutes, and research shows that it works equally well, if not better, than standard protocols that take upwards of 20 minutes.
Do we Use Theta Burst
At Neuro Wellness Spa in Southern California, we strive to remain on the cutting edge of treatment improvements documented by research to be safe and effective. Thus, we offer rTMS using the MagVenture device that is capable of providing this type of Theta Burst Stimulation. Our patients now have the option to receive both the Theta Burst and the conventional rTMS protocol in a single treatment! This doubles the effective stimulation each patient receives, and is essentially equivalent to receiving two treatments in one! We believe that this, in part, is why we have been so successful at achieving remission for our patients. Since adopting this double treatment protocol, we have had an unprecedented 93% positive response rate! Up from an 81% response rate with our former protocol that lacked TBS.