There are numerous therapies and medications for mild cognitive impairment, and many try yet fail to maintain a stable level of cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, many patients still experience a decline in cognitive impairment with more traditional therapies and medications, although it is at a slower rate than if they were not undergoing treatment.
It is important to recognize that taking medication for cognitive impairment can elicit drug-to-drug interactions with other medications the patient has to take. These interactions can cause severe and dangerous side effects, which negatively impact the patient’s overall well-being and path to treatment.
TMS therapy has none of the systematic side effects associated with traditional medications used to treat mild dementia. And TMS does not illicit drug-to-drug interactions that can occur when taking multiple medications. This is because TMS works by sending electromagnetic pulses directly to the brain, and does not enter the bloodstream like medications do.
If patients are worried about taking more medications that may interact with other medications they are already taking, or if they have experienced health problems from taking such medications, then TMS could be a great treatment option for them to try.
Also, while medications and therapies may merely keep a patient’s cognitive ability stable, patients undergoing TMS treatments have shown an improvement in their cognitive abilities. (If you want to get technical, studies have shown that for mild cognitive impairment, the ADAS COG score improved by 3 points, and for dementia, the ADAS COG score improved about 4 points.) Generally, these scores get worse. While stability is good, improvement is even better.
TMS is a safe treatment. While it is a relatively new mental health treatment, it was FDA-approved in 2008 for depression and there is ongoing research that suggests its promise for dementia and to slow the progression of memory loss. Since its approval in 2008, there have been millions of individual treatment sessions performed in the United States.
Our clinicians who administer TMS treatments are professionally trained and put each patient’s comfort first.
TMS treatments do not hurt during or after each session. In fact, there are very few side effects of TMS therapy. Most side effects are mild and short-lasting, and can include:
- Scalp discomfort
- Twitching or tingling of the facial muscles
Many patients find it to be uncomfortable on their scalp and mild headaches are common during the first few treatments, but these generally go away within the first two weeks as people get used to the sensation. It is rare that anyone drops out of TMS because of side effects.
More serious side effects happen very rarely, but can consist of:
- Hearing problems from the loud clicking noise that occurs during treatment
- Mania, which is more likely to occur if an adolescent has bipolar disorder
However, our expert providers will use their professional knowledge to further help avoid serious side effects like the ones listed above. It is most likely that some adolescents may experience a mild headache.
Generally, patients will feel just like their normal selves. They will be able to drive and go back to their regular activities. Some people report feeling a little tired or having a mild headache, but that usually goes away after the first week or two. Other people report more energy and better focus, as well as the ability to ignore obsessive, anxious thoughts after treatment.
TMS delivers localized electromagnetic pulses to the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of your brain that regulates mood. These electromagnetic pulses stimulate neurons, which release neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Depression and other mental health conditions are linked to an imbalance of these neurotransmitters. TMS works to restore that balance and can provide a more lasting impact on relieving depression symptoms than other treatments, such as antidepressants.
During a TMS treatment, the patient sits in a comfortable chair while the TMS coil is properly set in place on their head. (While this may sound intimidating, it really isn’t!) After the headpiece is in place, electromagnetic pulses are sent to the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain responsible for mood.
However, undergoing TMS treatment for a memory disorder is a slightly different process than using TMS therapy to treat clinical depression. When being treated for depression, patients have the option to watch tv, listen to music, or chat with staff or a family member. For memory disorder treatments though, patients work on cognitive exercises. It is believed that combining cognitive exercise with TMS treatment helps improve the benefits of the therapy. While a patient works on these cognitive exercises, magnetic pulses are directed at the part of the brain that is dysregulated.
TMS cognitive impairment sessions take about 25 minutes. The treatment consists of 25 sessions over seven weeks. To measure the effectiveness of the treatment on the individual, the patient’s cognitive abilities are tested before and after the course of treatment.
TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a safe, non-invasive, non-medication treatment for clinical depression that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the specific part of the brain known to control mood. It has proven to be effective for people with mild cognitive impairment or memory disorders.
TMS is used on people with mental health conditions that have not seen success with medications and/or antidepressants. TMS has extremely limited side effects, especially when compared to traditional medications and antidepressants, so it is also a treatment option for people who may be suffering from side effects while trying to experience relief from their condition.
Many patients find that TMS is an amazingly effective treatment option. The FDA labeled TMS therapy to be marketed as a treatment for clinical depression in 2008. Since then, further studies have shown that it has the potential to treat a wide range of conditions, many of which can be debilitating. Mindful Health Solutions is proud to offer TMS therapy as a treatment option for people with mild cognitive impairment or memory disorders.
TMS therapy is often administered in conjunction with other types of treatment, such as psychotherapy or (possibly continuing) medication management. At Mindful Health Solutions, our expert providers will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your specific needs.
While transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has proven itself to be an effective therapy for clinical depression and treatment-resistant depression, Mindful Health Solutions has recently begun using TMS therapy to treat mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia. While not cleared for such use by the FDA, European regulatory agencies have approved TMS therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Mindful Health Solutions offers its services to individuals with mild cognitive impairment, which is defined as an intermediary stage between normal aging and mild dementia. Our Memory Disorder program focuses on helping patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia that may involve problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment.
The folks treated by Mindful Health Solutions are those who have experienced memory loss issues but can still conduct normal day-to-day activities. People diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment are at significant risk of progressing to mild dementia. TMS therapy may help decrease the risk of this progression. Further, TMS therapy can help slow the progression from mild dementia to advanced dementia.
Memory disorders can be difficult to deal with when you, or someone you love, begins showing signs of cognitive impairment. Mindful Health Solutions is in your corner and is eager to help, listen, and proactively approach your condition.
TMS is not covered by insurance for mild dementia. We offer several out-of-pocket packages to make TMS affordable.