Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for UC San Diego Health patients and visitors. Learn More


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

UC San Diego Health was the first provider in San Diego to offer transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for individuals with treatment-resistant depression. Our physicians continue to be at the forefront of innovation.

What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

TMS uses magnetic pulses to help restore normal brain activity to areas of the brain associated with depression. TMS PET Brain Scan

Is TMS Safe?

The TMS therapies we use are both FDA-approved, painless and safe with no long-term side effects. 

Treatments with TMS

Our TMS services include:

  • Neurostar TMS to stimulate the brain up to a depth of approximately 1.5 cm
  • Brainsway Deep TMS for deeper brain stimulation, up to 8 cm 
Treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and requires no anesthesia or sedation. A typical treatment session lasts 20-40 minutes, with sessions repeated over a course of 4-6 weeks.

Who Is a Candidate for TMS for Depression?

We screen individuals before recommending TMS to help ensure it is an appropriate next step in your care.

Individuals interested in TMS will meet with one of our physicians to carefully review their medical history, current symptoms and past treatments. The physician can then discuss standard and innovative treatment options appropriate to each person's situation and needs. TMS therapy may be combined with changes in prescribed medications, as well as other therapies.

Individuals with metal implants in the head should not receive TMS. 

Appointments & Referrals


La Jolla

Meet Our Specialist