The Times: ‘Magnetic Pulses’ Used to Treat Depression

The Times LogoThe Times’ Scottish Health Correspondent reported on how Smart TMS are using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to treat depression at our brand new Edinburgh clinic – ‘the first of its kind in Scotland’. 

Firstly, the feature concentrated on comments from our CEO, Gerard Barnes. It continued to delve into statistics on the effectiveness of TMS from Medical Director, Dr Leigh Neal.

Smart TMS opened its Edinburgh clinic in March 2019, offering Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment – TMS. The treatment treats a number of mental health conditions, as well as depression. TMS also gives hope to sufferers of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, addictions and more.

More about TMS

The Times reports:

“The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland welcomed the launch and encouraged health boards to consider sending NHS patients with long-term depression for TMS treatment.”

Smart TMS CEO Gerard Barnes explained how magnetic pulses applied to the front of the scalp work to stimulate the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex:

“That area has been shown to be involved in motivation, language skills and emotional engagement. In patients with depression, that area is underactive. The magnetic pulses get the nerves in that area of the brain working again.”

But, does it work?

The Times published Smart TMS’ latest statistics on the effectiveness of the treatment and Medical Director Dr Leigh Neal stated:

“60% went into remission”

As a guide, around 60% of patients can also go into remission by taking antidepressants. However, TMS has fewer side effects and doesn’t require you to take daily medication for an unspecified time to feel better. According to Smart TMS audits, 75% of patients see a significant improvement in their depression symptoms, greatly improving their lives as a result. Dr Neal adds:

“Depression scores among patients dropped from about 20 to an average of 5.”

At Smart TMS, we use regular psychometric tests to monitor symptoms throughout treatment. The PHQ-9 questionnaire is scored out of 27, with each response monitoring severity of a symptom. A score of 20/27 before treatment highlights severe depression in a patient. An average, non-depressed adult is likely to score between one and six out of 27.

The feature also added the treatment’s wider statistics:

“40 randomised control trials involving 1,592 patients with depression showed that it delivered significant improvement.”

This article also appears on The Times website at (registration/subscription required to read in full).

TMS Treatment

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment can help with a range of difficult mental health conditions. Find out more about how it works at TMS Treatment.

Smart TMS : Edinburgh

Smart TMS was established in 2015, dedicated to providing TMS treatment in London at our South Kensington/Brompton Cross clinic. We have continued to expand, now helping patients all over the UK and Ireland. By using TMS to treat depression, we have helped 75% of our patients see significant improvements in their quality of life.

Our latest edition, Smart TMS : Edinburgh, has been long awaited. Until now, our Scotland-based patients have made the journey to our Manchester clinic to receive treatment, but our aim is to make rTMS treatment as accessible as possible, with Edinburgh being one of several new editions planned for 2019/20.

Contact Us

For any other queries or for patients wishing to book an appointment at one of our UK clinics, please contact us:

Irish patients may contact Our Dublin Clinic direct on: