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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive outpatient procedure that reduces symptoms of depression in up to 70% of patients. TMS is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for depression that does not require surgery or medication. TMS is a novel form of brain stimulation used to treat patients whose condition has not improved through conventional approaches.

Benefits of TMS

Unlike other treatments, such as medications, TMS is not associated with the common side effects of weight gain, sexual problems, sleepiness, or memory loss. It is also much less invasive than deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and other alternative treatment options for depression, which require time spent in a hospital and can cause disruption in memory. TMS takes place in an outpatient setting and does not require any form of sedation during the procedure. In fact, after the procedure the patient is not impaired in any way and is able to drive and return to normal activity.

Although mostly used in clinical practice to treat major depression, there is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the effective use of TMS as a treatment for a wide range of brain disorders. These disorders include Tinnitus, Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Schizophrenia (Auditory Hallucinations and Negative Symptoms), and Cognitive Impairment.

How TMS works

TMS works by stimulating the brain non-invasively using electromagnetic fields, similar to those produced by an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine. During TMS, a magnetic field is administered in very short pulses to the part of the brain that is thought to function abnormally in patients with depression (and other conditions, such as those listed above). The magnetic field produces an electric current in the brain, which stimulates low functioning nerves to activate and form tighter synaptic connections. Restoring these connections causes an anti-depressant response, making TMS effective when medications have failed.

TMS Procedure & Course of Treatment

During the TMS procedure, the patient is seated in a comfortable chair, similar to one found in a salon or dentist office. The technician starts by taking precise measurements to ensure the accuracy of the treatment and proceeds to place a small coil device over the patient’s head in order to deliver magnetic pulses. The TMS machine emits a repetitive clicking sound when the magnetic field is being discharged. Our patients typically listen to music of their choice. We also offer earplugs. The procedure is non-invasive and most patients report no discomfort.

Depending on the type of treatment or the number of treatments, each session can take anywhere between 5-24 minutes to perform. Patients typically resume their regular activities immediately after each session. To achieve effective results, patients are usually treated 5 days per week on weekdays for 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the individual condition and response rate. Most patients notice a significant reduction in symptoms that persists beyond the end of the treatment course.

How Atlas TMS is Different

Dr. Pejic is precise.   Dr. Pejic originally trained in general surgery before switching into psychiatry. The things that drew him into surgery -- diligence and meticulousness -- are what make him good at providing TMS. Specifically, he uses an advanced technique to locate the correct treatment spot on the brain. This is important since 1 in 3 patients undergoing TMS via less precise methods are not receiving treatment in the correct location. This can lead to treatment failure. 

Lower Cost.   Our TMS machine allows for flexibility in treatment protocols and, in turn, lower cost to provide treatment. We try to develop an affordable treatment plan with our patients, providing the best value and optimal results. Many (though not all) commercial insurance plans cover TMS by out-of-network providers. Our office can assist you with determining your out-of-network benefits ahead of time and with seeking reimbursement. We also employ payment plans and sliding scales on a case-by-case basis.

We offer Theta Burst technology.   Dr. Pejic employs Theta Burst, which is an advanced frequency of magnetic stimulation. This frequency allows him to provide more powerful stimulation in less time and with less discomfort. This allows you to complete the treatment in minutes and then be on your way.

Shorter Length Of Treatment.   The frequency of magnetic stimulation that Dr. Pejic uses allows him to provide twice daily treatment, cutting the total treatment time in half, as well as shortening the treatment sessions.

Wonderful Staff.   Dr. Pejic is supported by his TMS coordinator, Erin Thomas, his front desk staff, and a team of therapists that he meets with weekly. During your treatment you will interact with Mrs. Thomas daily and have the option of entering psychotherapy to augment your treatment. Dr. Pejic has carefully chosen his treatment team, making sure that they are well-trained and compassionate clinicians.  

Elegant Office Setting.   The Antonine Professional Arts Center is a beautiful building with modern and welcoming interior decor. We want to make your TMS treatment experience smooth, comfortable, and private. We provide complementary diet soda, coffee, and Le Croix at all visits.  

Convenient Location.   We are located in Uptown New Orleans with on-street parking available, near St. Charles Avenue and 8 minutes from the interstate. 

Linked is a lecture that Dr. Pejic gave to the LSU Department of Psychiatry regarding the history and science of TMS.  It is meant for other physicians and is more technical than not, but will give you insight into the world of TMS.  
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