A non-invasive procedure called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) utilizes magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain for mood regulation. TMS was originally used as a research tool to investigate brain function in neuropsychiatric illnesses. Throughout the years technology has made it possible to deliver multiple pulses within short periods, frequency, intensity and locations.
During the procedure patients will sit in a comfortable chair with an electromechanical head support system and earplugs. A certified technician will then position stimulating coils delivering varying magnetic field patterns to brain tissue directly beneath the scalp. Neuronal excitability depends on the frequency and intensity of stimulation applied. Effective treatment usually will require daily sessions five times a week for four to six weeks. An average appointment will take up to forty minutes.
The following conditions may be improved with TMS therapy: Treatment-resistant depression, Bipolar disorder, Panic disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Auditory hallucination in schizophrenia, Catatonia, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Addiction and pain alleviation with migraines, neuropathy and fibromyalgia.
The following are contraindication for TMS: patients with implanted ferromagnetic devices or other magnetic-sensitive metal implants close to the magnetic coils, a history of epilepsy or seizures, the administration of drugs that may potentially lower the seizure threshold without concomitant administration of anticonvulsant drugs, vascular, traumatic, tumoral, infectious or metabolic lesions of the brain, sleep deprivation and alcoholism.
Common side effects are generally mild to moderate and improve greatly with continuous sessions. These may include headaches, scalp discomfort at the stimulation site, tingling, spasms or twitching of facial muscles and dizziness. Rare uncommon side effects may include seizures, mania in bipolar disorder or hearing loss if precaution is not taken during session.
Clinical trials have suggested that after the completion of TMS therapy optimal relief is managed with medication and psychotherapy. If you think you may be the right candidate for TMS therapy contact your provider.
What you can take away:
• Benefit 1: Gain understanding on your emotional or behavioral problems
• Benefit 2: Learn what to do about your problems and how to correct them
• Benefit 3: Gain personal growth and fulfillment
• Benefit 4: Improve ones sense of meaning and purpose in life