Welcome to TMS Treatment at Atkinson Family Practice. We provide patients in Amherst, MA and surrounding area the latest in depression treatments. We are pleased to be able to offer Neurostar® TMS Therapy to our patients. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy is one of the most technologically advanced depression treatments available. This non-invasive, outpatient therapy is FDA cleared and has helped thousands of depression patients who have not received adequate results from antidepressants. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is the first and only FDA Approved treatment for depression that does not require surgery or medication, and is safe and effective. TMS has had extensive research to back it up at several major medical research universities, and the only side effect is slight scalp discomfort during the actual procedure.
“I am so excited to have a non-pharmaceutical treatment right here in the office for people suffering from depression. The studies using TMS technologies fill me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to a brighter future!” - Dr. Kate
Where are you from? I am originally from Merrimack, NH. I have lived in Amherst, MA for about a year.
What brought you to AFP? I am a newcomer to the AFP family. As a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with my first bachelor’s degree in psychology, I sought to find a place in the workforce where I could incorporate the skills learned during my time as an undergraduate. As I was job searching, I saw an application for a position at AFP and I immediately thought “this is the perfect place for me!” Soon after starting, I became a TMS technician in training at AFP.
What has been your journey while at AFP? I joined AFP in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. While this epidemic has affected everyone here at AFP, as the “new guy on the block,” it was a challenging time to join a medical practice which had to implement new intensive protocols and procedures that need to be followed. Luckily, I adapted very quickly and began to train as a TMS technician while screening the door when we were not seeing patients. Since then, I have recently been certified as a TMS technician. I am looking forward to continuing my journey here at AFP before I attend graduate school in a couple years.
Tell us a little about what you feel makes TMS special. For many decades now, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been a great alternative treatment option for those who suffer from a depressive disorder and did not respond to traditional pharmaceutical treatments or behavioral therapy alone. Unfortunately, this comprises of a significantly large portion of people diagnosed with a depressive disorder. TMS is a unique treatment option because it is a non-invasive treatment that uses a magnet with the strength of an MRI machine to stimulate certain areas of the brain which increases blood circulation in the brain, glucose metabolism, and neurotransmitter flow in the brain. Unlike pharmaceutical treatments which can induce a number of side effects or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which requires restraints/ sedation of some sort, and has a higher risk of seizures and cognitive impairments, the side effects of TMS are typically only discomfort around the area where the magnet is placed and occasional headaches. The use of TMS therapy for the treatment of depression was been widely supported by several studies, and it is a treatment option that has shown significant improvements in the depressive and anxious symptoms in patients at AFP.
Already have a TMS appointment set up or want to find out if you qualify for treatment then fill out the TMS Intake Form here
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS Therapy, uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in one of the areas of the brain thought to control mood. TMS Therapy is performed in a psychiatrist’s office under his or her supervision while you remain awake and alert.
Is Neurostar TMS Therapy Safe?
Clinical trials have proven the safety of NeuroStar TMS Therapy® in treating patients who’ve had an inadequate response to prior antidepressant medications.
Atkinson Family Practice (AFP) began Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in March 2016 under the direction of Dr. Nora Schwartz-Martin, MD. TMS is a natural addition to the integrative practices happening at AFP, and a much needed service to the western Massachusetts area. Dr. Schwartz-Martin strongly values the benefits of integrative medicine, and is thrilled to see TMS helping so many patients.
Dr. Schwartz-Martin was trained in psychiatry at New England Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, and Harvard University Student Services. She has also received extensive training in psychopharmacology and emergency psychiatry. She and her husband are the proud parents of two boys, and their many talents continue to amaze them every day.
MassHealth now covers TMS Treatments at Atkinson Family Practice.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is a new treatment cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant treatment. TMS stands for “transcranial magnetic stimulation.”
TMS Therapy is a treatment that can be performed in a psychiatrist’s office, under his or her supervision, using a medical device called the NeuroStar TMS Therapy system. NeuroStar TMS Therapy is:
- Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment
- Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the blood stream throughout the body.
The typical initial treatment course consists of at least 5 treatments per week over a 4-6 week period, for an average of 20-30 total treatments. Each treatment session lasts approximately 19-40 minutes, depending on what the doctor determines is the correct protocol.
What Other TMS Patients Have Said
“At first I thought that this treatment was just the “same old, same old.” In fact, it turned out to be a very relaxing time which I am now trying to duplicate at home as part of a regular morning routine. I always felt that the staff were there to support me completely through follow-up sessions and trying to make me comfortable. TMS exceeded my wildest expectations. Almost immediately the world looked bright and new. I so appreciate the opportunity to find a very different world and life”. – Tim A.*
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is the first non-systemic and non-invasive outpatient depression treatment cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment. NeuroStar TMS Therapy uses highly focused, pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate function in targeted brain regions.
NeuroStar TMS Therapy is:
- Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.
- Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body.
Hoping to connect with patients whose stories may align with your own? TMS+YOU is an online community and national patient advocacy site for TMS Therapy. Those considering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can connect with patients who have had the treatment to answer questions, share insights, and get the latest information.