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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS therapy is a short outpatient procedure that uses short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells within the area of the brain thought to control mood. TMS therapy is performed at Sibley under supervision while the patient remains awake and alert.

The treating clinician positions a treatment coil over the left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved with mood regulation. Through the treatment coil, the TMS therapy system generates highly concentrated magnetic fields that turn on and off rapidly. These magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. When these pulses are administered in rapid succession, they can produce longer-lasting changes in brain activity.

TMS has been shown to be a safe and well-tolerated procedure that can be an effective treatment for patients with depression who have not benefited from antidepressant medications or cannot tolerate antidepressant medications due to side effects. As of September 2014, Sibley has begun providing treatment via a new type of TMS technology, called deep TMS, or dTMS. This system has recently been approved by the FDA for clinical use with patients and requires shorter and less frequent treatment sessions than earlier forms of TMS. dTMS sessions last 20 minutes and are given daily over four to five weeks.

dTMS therapy is not appropriate for all patients. Before scheduling you for treatment, you must first be evaluated by one of our TMS psychiatrists to determine if dTMS would be safe and appropriate for you.

To be evaluated for outpatient dTMS treatment or to learn more please contact Agnes Bradley-Wright, by email at or call 202-660-6702.

More information about dTMS is available online at

TMS Staff

About Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness affecting more than 14 million American adults every year, which is typically treated with antidepressant medications.

Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, some people do not receive adequate benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate their side effects. For these patients, TMS therapy offers an alternate treatment method for depression.

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