What’s The Difference Between TMS & Deep TMS?

What’s The Difference Between TMS & Deep TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and deep TMS are two types of non-invasive brain stimulation therapies that have been gaining popularity in recent years. While both treatments are effective for various mental health disorders, they differ in several crucial aspects. Below is an overview of the differences between TMS and deep TMS.

The Science Behind Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

All transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment protocols are based on the principles of electromagnetic induction. When a magnetic field is applied to the brain, it induces an electrical current in the neurons located in the targeted area.

This electrical current can either inhibit or facilitate the activity of these neurons, depending on the parameters of the magnetic field. This instigates a chain of neuromodulatory effects that can improve neurological processes, potentially leading to improved mental health symptoms.

Understanding rTMS and Deep TMS

rTMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive technique that utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate specific regions of the brain. This technology has been widely used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, especially where other treatments have failed to deliver results.

Deep TMS, on the other hand, is a more advanced form of TMS that uses a unique coil design to target deeper brain regions. Both treatments have been proven effective, but they have distinct differences that set them apart.

The Figure-8 Coil vs. the H-Coil Helmet

One of the primary differences between rTMS and deep TMS lies in the coil design used to deliver the magnetic pulses. Traditional rTMS relies on a figure-8 coil, which is limited in its ability to reach deep brain regions. This coil design can only penetrate a depth of 0.27” (0.7cm).

In contrast, deep TMS uses an innovative three-dimensional H-coil design. This unique electromagnetic coil design encompasses a broader surface area and is capable of stimulating deeper brain structures directly. The H-coil can reach a significant sub-threshold depth of 1.25” (3.2cm), providing more targeted brain stimulation.

Treatment Efficacy

The depth at which the magnetic pulses penetrate the brain plays a critical role in the treatment’s efficacy. While the figure-8 coil used in traditional TMS can provide relief for some patients, its limited penetration depth may not be enough to target specific brain regions implicated in the development of mental health disorders.

Deep TMS, with its H-coil helmet, can stimulate brain structures up to 1.25” (3.2cm) deep. This increased depth allows Deep TMS to access and stimulate areas that are traditionally harder to reach, potentially improving the treatment’s overall effectiveness.


Both TMS and deep TMS are FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder and a variety of other mental illnesses. However, deep TMS has a broader range of applications due to its ability to stimulate deeper brain structures. This makes it a more versatile treatment option with a broader range of potential applications.

rTMS vs. Deep TMS – Which Treatment is Right for You?

While both rTMS and deep TMS have been shown to be effective treatments for depression and other mental health conditions, deep TMS has demonstrated higher efficacy in helping alleviate symptoms of both mental and neurological disorders. As such, it is often the preferred option.

Ultimately, the decision of what treatment option is right for you should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider.

The Bottom Line

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and deep TMS are both effective treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. However, they have distinct differences that set them apart. Deep TMS utilizes a unique H-coil helmet design to target deeper brain regions than traditional rTMS. It’s also a more versatile treatment option with a broader range of potential applications.

Your healthcare provider will help you determine the right treatment option for you based on your treatment needs.

[Please Contact Us For Any Help!]