A psychiatric evaluation for TMS is necessary to determine if a patient is a good candidate for transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS devices, introduced in the 1980s, use magnetic pulses to stimulate specific brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating mood.The stimulation of neuronal activity in the brain causes the production…
TMS Is a Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Option
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a brain stimulation therapy that treats mental health problems like depression and severe anxiety. Mental health practitioners recommend the treatment when more traditional approaches fall short. They might suggest this treatment to patients who show little improvement after trying and exhausting more conservative treatment options. Find out what TMS is, how the treatment works, and what to expect from the therapy.
TMS: A brief explainer
TMS uses magnetic energy to trigger neural activity in the brain. The resulting increase in nerve activity should improve the symptoms of a psychological or neurological disorder. This treatment involves applying a magnetic field to pinpoint locations in the brain. It is a non-invasive way to stimulate the brain, which can help improve treatment-resistant cases of:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
The treatment also improves the symptoms of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. It can be a useful rehabilitation tool for patients recovering from strokes. Here is what to expect from TMS treatment.
A typical TMS session
The patient undergoes a screening process to determine if they are a good candidate for TMS therapy. Their doctor or mental health caregiver will then oversee treatment that involves the following steps:
- During the first session, a doctor or technician will measure the patient’s head to determine the best location to place the magnetic coil
- The doctor will ask the patient to wear earplugs to block out the noise of the TMS equipment
- They will place the coil on the patient’s scalp, over the front section of the brain
- Lastly, they will turn on the TMS equipment that generates the magnetic pulse
This is an outpatient procedure that takes 30 to 60 minutes. Most patients are okay to drive immediately after treatment.
Timelines and efficacy
The duration of trans-cranial magnetic stimulation depends on how quickly a patient responds to treatment. Physicians and mental health practitioners usually recommend five sessions a week for several weeks. They will monitor the patient for physical and mental changes.
Some people experience good results that enable them to pause treatment. Their doctor will schedule periodic checkups to monitor the patient’s mental or neurological health. They will only recommend another course of TMS treatment if the patient needs it.
Side effects and recovery
TMS is a non-invasive procedure with few side effects. A patient may experience a mild headache or light-headedness, and they may also experience some discomfort in the scalp as they habituate to the pulse of the magnetic coil. Most (otherwise healthy) patients will be able to drive home after the treatment.
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For mental illnesses, TMS therapy may be a good option to pursue. It can be difficult living with a mental health condition. These come in many varieties, but treatment is often necessary to have a good quality of life. Therapy and medication are often the first lines of defense, but there are other strategies. Transcranial…
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive therapy that involves the application of high magnetic fields to specific areas of the brain. TMS, for example, may help you enhance your general mental state by stimulating the prefrontal cortex, a brain region involved in mood regulation. Magnetic pulses must be administered repeatedly to nerve cells in…