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Orange County Psychiatry | Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS, Brain Function

Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists -  - Mental Health Clinic

Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists

Orange County Psychiatry | Mental Health, Addiction, Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression

Nearly 16.1 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with depression each year, with many more remaining undiagnosed. At Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, with offices in Orange County, Huntington Beach, Orange, Dana Point, and Costa Mesa, California, the team of experienced providers offers comprehensive care for depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This noninvasive treatment is ideal for depressive symptoms not relieved by other therapies. If medications aren’t working for your depression, call our office to learn more about transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Q & A

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), also known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in your brain that control mood. The rapid pulses of electromagnetic energy produce long-lasting changes in the brain.

TMS may be useful for treating symptoms of depression when other therapies such as medications and talk therapy aren’t working.

What happens during treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation?

The team at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists performs transcranial magnetic stimulation sessions right in the office. You can expect to wear earplugs while you relax in a reclining chair during your treatment.

Your provider places an electromagnetic coil against certain areas of your head and switches the coil on and off to deliver stimulating pulses of energy into your brain. While the procedure isn’t painful, you may feel some discomfort in your scalp and a tapping sensation on your forehead through your session.

To determine the right dosage of magnetic energy you need to achieve optimum results, your provider continues to increase the dosage until your hands and fingers begin to twitch. Reaching this point, known as your motor threshold, indicates to your provider that they’ve reached the proper dose of energy.

The team at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists monitors you for other side effects throughout treatment, and they may change the amount of stimulation several times throughout your course of therapy.

Does transcranial magnetic stimulation cause side effects?

In addition to scalp discomfort during treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation may also cause side effects, like

  • Headaches

  • Facial twitching

  • Lightheadedness

  • Tingling sensations in the head and face


Once your treatment is over, you can expect to go home without any limitations. You can drive yourself home and return to work or your usual routine.

How many transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments will I need?

Your provider can determine how many sessions you need based on your symptoms and the success of your initial treatment. In many cases, TMS sessions are administered five times each week for a period of 4-6 weeks. The team customizes your treatment to your needs and discusses what to expect from therapy during your initial evaluation.

If you’re struggling with depression, and medications aren’t enough to treat your symptoms, schedule a consultation at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists today.