Theta Burst TMS Therapy – SAINT Protocol

Theta Burst TMS Therapy – SAINT Protocol

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an FDA-approved therapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression. However, many new forms of TMS are on the rise, such as Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation (iTBS). There have also been attempts to make iTBS more efficient by accelerating the process for faster treatment times and greater efficacy. One treatment procedure that has seen a rise in recent years is the SAINT protocol.

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What Is Theta Burst TMS Therapy?

Theta Burst Stimulation (TBS) mimics the natural activity rhythms of neurons in the brain to improve depression symptoms. A theta burst is a short blast of stimulus at high frequencies. Since the first implementation of TBS in 2005, this treatment method has shown to be effective in longer-lasting changes in brain activity while requiring less time to administer. Many clinicians believe TBS may eventually become more effective than older stimulation treatment methods for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

TMS Using the SAINT Protocol

Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT) is an intensive and individualized depression treatment that is a form of TMS. Using the SAINT protocol aids in identifying specific procedures and regulations for an accelerated TMS treatment without a reduction in efficacy.

The SAINT procedure includes the following processes to stimulate the precise area of the brain experiencing an emotional imbalance, helping restore an individual’s overall well-being.

  • There are five consecutive treatment days, with 10 iTBS sessions per day.
  • There are 1,800 magnetic pulses per session, with 50-minute intervals between each session
  • The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex receives pulses similar to other TMS treatments.

After completing multiple clinical trials, research shows using the SAINT protocol is effective in reducing depression symptoms. On average, most participants had a response by the third day of treatment and did not experience any adverse side effects.

Benefits of the SAINT Protocol

The SAINT protocol is highly beneficial for patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression. During the research stage for the SAINT protocol, participants ranged from 22 to 80 years of age and had experienced depression symptoms for nine years. Throughout the nine years, many participants had tried medications with little to no relief, or their prescription’s efficacy had diminished.

Within four weeks of treatment, 12 of the 14 participants saw a reduction in their symptoms, and many felt better within days of starting treatment. This response time is much faster than traditional medication for depression, which often takes a month to start showing results. Due to the fast response time, researchers hope to use the SAINT protocol to quickly treat patients at a crisis point.

Another benefit of the SAINT protocol is how individualized the treatment process is for patients. Since the treatment targets core brain mechanisms, patients will either achieve remission in a week or know that TMS is not the right treatment option for their needs.

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Possible Downsides

Many patients report a temporary feeling of mild pain or discomfort on the treatment site during the treatment session. Other temporary side effects include muscle twitching and pain in the jaw.

TMS and Psychiatric Services in NYC

We welcome local as well as international clients. Located near Grand Central Station and along Wall Street, our location offers proximity to top of the line hotels and accommodations. Clients will have access to New York’s numerous attractions while receiving treatment.

Book an Appointment at Principium Psychiatry Today

SAINT is a noninvasive therapy option for patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression. To learn more about the SAINT protocol and if it is a fitting treatment option for your needs, please schedule an appointment at Principium Psychiatry today.

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