We do not recommend seeking treatment at the UHN rTMS clinic if you live more than 3 hours' drive from downtown Toronto, for several reasons:
- You would need to reside in Toronto for at least 2-3 months from the time of your initial assessment, to the time of your first rTMS session a few weeks later, to the time of your final treatment session, 4-6 weeks after your first session.
- rTMS does not work for everyone. For depression, at least 30-40% of people experience no effect, and another 30-40% experience only partial improvement. For other disorders like OCD, the failure rate may be higher.
- Even when rTMS is successful, the effects are not permanent, and booster sessions are often needed. In depression, rTMS typically lasts 6-12 months but in some cases starts to wear off as early as 2-3 months. In OCD or eating disorders, effects can wear off after just 2-3 months. Booster sessions may be needed 1-3 times a year, which is challenging if you do not live near Toronto.
- Unfortunately UHN does not have subsidized accommodation for rTMS patients from outside Toronto. UHN also does not offer hospital admissions for rTMS, due to the limited number of inpatient beds available.
If you live more than 3 hours' drive from Toronto, we would suggest that you consider rTMS here only under the following circumstances:
+ You can arrange for the costs of travel and 2-3 months of accommodation in Toronto
+ You are prepared to incur these costs even with a 50% or greater chance of failure
+ You would be prepared to repeat this process 2-3 times per year in the event of success
Fortunately there are now a growing number of rTMS clinics accepting referrals in many areas of Canada. A map of Canadian rTMS clinics can be found here: www.rtmscanada.ca
There are also many rTMS clinics operating in the United States. A map of some of these clinics can be found here: www.neurostar.com
There may also be other clinics in your area that can be found using standard Web search engines.
On a personal note, we are sorry if this information comes as a disappointment and recognize that you would not have contacted us if you were not urgently in need of help. We do wish you strength and courage in seeking treatment for your illness, and hope that you meet with success.
The UHN rTMS Clinic.