Theta-burst stimulation is an effective antidepressant treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). MDD is a common mental disorder and it is also debilitating for those who have it. There are a range of treatments offered to help with MDD symptoms. Some common treatments include; anti-depressant medication, cognitive therapy and Electro-Convulsive Therapy. While some people experience relief with these treatments, many do not and unfortunately their symptoms remain.
Theta-burst stimulation (also known as TBS) is a novel form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS or rTMS), filling the gap and providing patients with an alternative treatment. The treatment is safe, tolerable and an effective treatment modality with little or no side-effects. TBS works in the same way as TMS and is administered over the prefrontal cortex. The treatment inspires cortical activity to the region of the brain responsible for mood and emotion.
TBS uses a faster frequency (50Hz instead of 10Hz). It also requires less session time compared to rTMS protocols. Where rTMS takes 30 minutes per session, TBS is dramatically reduced to 3 minute intervals. This creates a more comfortable treatment experience for patients. A full TBS course takes 25-30 visits while rTMS takes 30 visits.
There are many benefits associated with TBS. Like regular TMS, TBS is well tolerated and safe. There are very few side-effects associated with TBS.
There are additional benefits as TBS does not require as much treatment time and therefore is also significantly cheaper to regular TMS.
TBS and rTMS are both FDA approved and shown to be equally effective. Our own observation after using theta-burst stimulation over the past two years, is that it works just as well as rTMS. Patients prefer TBS due to significantly less treatment time required. Information is readily available through The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
Patients who still prefer rTMS can visit us at Sydney TMS to receive regular TMS treatment. For those who have experienced success with TMS therapy in the past, we encourage you to keep doing what works for you. Further research material is available via this link.
For more information about TMS therapy and theta-burst stimulation please call us today 1300 177 144.