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If I have depression and anxiety not adequately controlled by medications, does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) help with symptoms of depression and anxiety more than a placebo?


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MedHead Message:

I have not been able to find a head to head trial comparing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) for depression treatment. I do know that CES will be considerably cheaper. A Fisher Wallace device will cost around $500 on sale, while TMS will cost around $10,000 for 36 sessions of treatment. I think the TMS system has more clinical data, but is considerably more expensive.


1. Health Quality Ontario. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2016 Mar 1;16(5):1-66. eCollection 2016. 2. Gaynes, BN et. al. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014 May;75(5):477-89; quiz 489. doi: 10.4088/JCP.13r08815. 3. Magavi LR et. al. A review of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for adolescents with treatment-resistant depression. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2017 Apr;29(2):79-88. doi: 10.1080/09540261.2017.1300574. Epub 2017 Mar 17.


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