Psychiatrist Blog

The Difference Between TMS and Deep TMS

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Similarities Between Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) And Deep TMS

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (DTMS) and traditional Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are both approved for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). 

They are both safe, non-invasive alternative treatment options for patients who have found little to no relief in treating MDD with medications.

Difference Between TMS And Deep TMS Treatment

tms vs deep tms

As treatments for mental health disorders, the difference between TMS and deep TMS comes from the following: 

  • Coil type. The traditional transcranial magnetic stimulation uses a figure 8 coil, while deep TMS uses an H-shaped coil that is inside a helmet. 
  • Magnetic stimulation depth. The magnetic pulses from transcranial magnetic stimulation reach a depth of 0.27 inches while deep transcranial magnetic stimulation can reach a depth of 1.25 inches.
  • Session length. A typical course of TMS can run 4-6 weeks, 30-40 minute sessions. A typical course of deep TMS can run 4-6 weeks, 20 minutes per session.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Deep TMS has received three FDA mental health treatment indications:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Short-term smoking cessation

On the other hand, TMS has one FDA treatment indication: Major Depressive Disorder. 

[Read: What To Know About Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)]

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation And Traditional TMS as Mental Health Treatment

depression patient in therapy

As Deep TMS and Traditional TMS use different equipment and different magnetic stimulation depths for treatment, they both have shown different levels of effectiveness in treating various patients and their depressive symptoms. 

One study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research showed that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation with medication management achieved higher response rates in individuals with moderate to severe depression compared to that of traditional TMS with medication management, or medication alone.

psychiatry therapy

In conclusion, both Deep TMS and Traditional TMS have been shown to be effective in the treatment of major depression compared to medication management alone.

Please reach out to your provider for more information about how you can get started on TMS treatment.


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