How does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) work?
It is estimated that 35% of patients suffering with Major Depressive Disorder do not adequately benefit from available treatment options. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a treatment that can give patients new hope.
"The brain is a collection of nerve cells with trillions of connections that control our consciousness and unconscious actions. This network relies on the propagation of electrical impulses along nerve fibers that trigger biochemical changes at nerve junctions.
A nerve cell fires when an electrical impulse travels along its length. It communicates with other nerve cells by releasing neurotransmitters, which creates an electrical impulse in other cells. Parts of the network are responsible for different aspects of our lives, such as muscle movement, sight, hearing, emotions, and the ability to process information. It is possible to manipulate parts of this network using magnetic fields to alter the electrical events occurring in the brain.
Using transcranial magnetic stimulation, we can alter the connection of the brain that have been shown the be different, for example, in depression. TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to relieve symptoms of depression. TMS is typically used when other depression treatments haven't been effective.
During the TMS session, and electromagnetic coil is placed against your scalp near your forehead. The treatment for depression involves delivering repetitive magnetic pulses so it's called repetitive TMS or rTMS. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is usually conducted in an outpatient setting, like a doctors office or clinic.
TMS requires a series of treatment sessions to be effective. Generally, sessions are carried out daily 5 times a week for 4 to 6 weeks.
The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control, and it may activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in people with depression.
TMS therapy has helped depression sufferers around the world rediscover the color of life."