Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It is a medical term for a type of brain stimulation therapy. TMS therapy is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to arouse the nerve cells in the brain so as to improve neurological or mental health disorders symptoms.

This kind of treatment is only used for treating depression issues and has a high success rate in helping patients using antidepressant medication and those undergoing psychotherapy. This was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for the purpose described above.

TMS uses repetitive electrical impulses, and it is otherwise called Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). You can use either TMS or rTMS interchangeably.

TMS therapy for depression

TMS is majorly used to treat major depressive disorders (MDD), which is sometimes simply called depression. This therapy is good for those seeking relief from medication and psychotherapy. This is known as treatment-resistant depression. Only about 30 percent of patients battling with depression do not respond to these treatments.

How TMS therapy works

TMS therapy is an outpatient procedure done in a medical clinic and overseen by a TMS therapist. The TMS therapist will ask you to remove items sensitive to magnets before proceeding with the therapy. During the therapy, your therapist will make you wear earplugs, so the clicking sounds of magnetic impulses do not affect you.

You will be sitting in a comfortable chair. For this therapy, general anesthesia is not necessary, which means you will be awake for the duration of the treatment. The technician will measure your head on your first session to know where to place the magnetic coil. Other measurements will also be taken on you to ensure the settings on the TMS machine are personalized. The TMS therapy specialist will put the coil above the frontal area of your brain.

After this, the treatment begins as you will hear clicking sounds when magnetic impulses are released. Also, beneath the magnetic coil, you will feel a tapping or knocking sensation. You will be done in a maximum of 60 minutes. You should be done with TMS therapy between 4 to 6 weeks. Your specific condition and response rate to treatment will determine how long TMS treatment will last.

When is TMS recommended? 

A doctor will first recommend antidepressants and psychotherapy for you before asking you to do TMS if you are struggling with depression. However, a doctor will immediately recommend TMS for you if you are yet to see the results of the antidepressants you are using. Or maybe you have started experiencing negative side effects after using antidepressants.

If you are a child, teenager, or young adult, you may opt for TMS because younger people are susceptible to experiencing negative side effects after using antidepressants.

What benefits do a TMS services provider offer?

TMS therapy has many benefits. Many researchers recommend TMS to arouse nerve cells by increasing the activity in this area. TMS may help improve your symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). TMS is recommended if you want to ease your anxiety. You can also use TMS for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). TMS can also be beneficial for stroke rehabilitation. TMS may help a patient with dysphagia by arousing the motor cortex. And many more.

You should avoid TMS if you have deep brain stimulators, cochlear implants, permanent piercings, metal plates, and suchlike. Call us to learn more about our mental health treatment services.