What is TMS?

September 10, 2019

Conventional treatment for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety can cause undesirable side effects to some people. In these cases, an alternative treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may help.

What is TMS?

TMS is a non-invasive procedure that creates a magnetic field to induce a small electric current in a certain part of the brain. Repetitive TMS is shown to create changes in regions of the brain underlying the treatment coil.

Approved by FDA in 2008 for the treatment-resistant depression, TMS has done wonders for patients who have given up on antidepressants and similar drugs due to their unpleasant side effects. 

What happens during TMS therapy?

Since the procedure uses magnetic pulses, patients undergoing TMS therapy are asked to remove any magnetic-sensitive objects. This includes jewelry and credit cards. 

Patients are provided with earplugs to protect their hearing as the treatment causes a loud clicking sound with each pulse. 

The physician administers several brief pulses to determine one’s motor threshold. This allows the provider to create a more personalized treatment for the patient.

Once the motor threshold has been determined, the TMS coil is then positioned properly (it’s positioned above the front region of the patient’s brain).

During TMS therapy, it’s normal to hear clicking sounds and to feel a slight tapping sensation under the treatment coil. 

What are the side effects of TMS?

About half of the patients who undergo TMS therapy complain of headaches. The headaches though are just mild and usually go away over the course of the treatment. You can remedy this by taking over-the-counter pain meds. 

There are also cases of patients experiencing scalp discomfort and facial twitching. Just like headaches, these go away over the course of the treatment. If the discomfort continues, adjustments in the coil positioning and stimulation can be done. 

NeurOasis TMS commits to helping patients who weren’t successful in the traditional treatment of conditions like depression, anxiety, and pain. We have an amazing team with over 30 years of combined experience. If you want to try TMS therapy or have more questions about it, feel free to contact us

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/qa/what-is-transcranial-magnetic-stimulation-tms

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/psychiatry/specialty_areas/brain_stimulation/tms/faq_tms.html