What is the Difference Between rTMS and Deep TMS?

What is the Difference Between rTMS and Deep TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has emerged as a groundbreaking treatment for various psychiatric conditions, offering hope to many patients who have not found success with traditional therapies. Within the realm of TMS, two main types are frequently discussed: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS). Understanding the differences between these two can help patients and healthcare providers make informed decisions about the best treatment options.

Introduction to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Primarily employed to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), TMS has also shown promise in addressing other conditions such as anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. By targeting specific areas of the brain involved in mood regulation, TMS can help alleviate symptoms where other treatments have failed.

Overview of rTMS and Deep TMS

What is rTMS?

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) involves using a magnetic coil placed against the scalp to deliver repetitive pulses of magnetic energy. These pulses stimulate nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked with mood regulation.

What is Deep TMS?

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS) uses a specialized H-coil, which allows the magnetic pulses to penetrate deeper into the brain. This technology aims to target and stimulate deeper brain structures that are also implicated in mood disorders.

Comparing rTMS and Deep TMS


rTMS: Uses a figure-8 coil to deliver magnetic pulses. The depth of stimulation is typically around 1.5 to 2 centimeters beneath the scalp.

Deep TMS: Employs an H-coil design, allowing for deeper brain penetration—up to 6 cm—thereby affecting areas unreachable by standard rTMS.

Treatment Duration

rTMS: Typically involves daily sessions lasting 20-40 minutes over four to six weeks.

Deep TMS: Sessions are often shorter, around 20 minutes, but the frequency and duration are similar to rTMS, requiring daily visits for several weeks.


Both rTMS and Deep TMS have been shown to be effective in treating depression and other mood disorders. Studies suggest that while both methods offer significant improvements in symptoms, Deep TMS might provide faster and more pronounced benefits due to its ability to reach deeper brain structures.

Applications and Target Conditions

rTMS Applications

rTMS is commonly used to treat:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Deep TMS Applications

Deep TMS extends its applications to:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Addictions

While both treatments are valuable, the choice between rTMS and Deep TMS can depend on the specific needs and medical history of the patient. Consulting with a healthcare provider specializing in TMS therapy will help determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

The Bottom Line

For patients who have found antidepressant medications ineffective, TMS for depression in Annapolis can greatly enhance mood regulation. This therapy is effective for conditions like depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. With about 16 million Americans grappling with depression, nearly 25% see minimal improvement with antidepressants, while psychotherapy can take years to achieve the results that TMS offers.

Benefits of TMS Therapy:

Drug-Free Treatment: No need for medication.

Non-Invasive: No surgery or implants required.

Long-Lasting Relief: Symptom relief can extend for months.

No Sedation: Patients remain fully awake and alert.

FDA-Cleared: Approved for treating major depressive disorder and other conditions.

No Side Effects: Minimal to no side effects compared to medications.

Proven To Work: Backed by clinical research.

Insurance Coverage: Covered by most health insurance plans for approved conditions.

At The Mood Wellness Center, patients are greeted by a dedicated team of qualified professionals who deliver treatment with compassion and exceptional care. Our medical staff is committed to building trusting relationships with patients while offering top-notch, all-encompassing care. Our practice has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of psychiatric conditions with TMS, including depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. We focus on managing the most challenging cases of mood disorders.

If you’re interested in the advantages of TMS therapy, reach out to us today to book your consultation and start your journey towards a life unburdened by depression and other mood disorders.

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