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…
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Severe Depression
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 various brain areas for this treatment to provide effective outcomes. Therefore, it is also called repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved TMS as a therapy option for severe depression.
An overview of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy
As previously stated, TMS is a non-invasive therapy; therefore, no anesthetic or surgical incisions are necessary for treatment. Instead, a coil is placed on the scalp, which generates intense electromagnetic fields transmitted to a specific part of the brain. A physician or technician will determine the ideal site for maximal impact.
The coil must line up with the area of the brain implicated in the patient's ailment; therefore, its placement is critical. The coil is placed over that area of the scalp throughout the treatment duration. The patient must remove all jewelry or magnet-sensitive items before the session.
When people begin TMS treatments, they may hear a ticking sound similar to that produced by MRI scanners. The sound is from magnetic fields that are sent to the brain. Patients may use earplugs for noise cancellation and auditory safety while undergoing this treatment. While wearing the treatment coil, the patient may experience some tapping sensations.
TMS treatments typically run four to six weeks, with the patient undergoing treatment five times per week. Sessions may last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the coil utilized and the magnetic pulses sent to the brain. However, the duration and number of sessions may vary based on the patient's reaction or the severity of the ailment.
How transcranial magnetic stimulation can help with severe depression
Although the working methodology is unknown, repetitive TMS is thought to have effects comparable to antidepressants. The brain of someone with depression would show lower activity in areas including the prefrontal cortex, frontal lobe, amygdala, and hippocampus — areas that impact emotions and mood.
These brain areas may be activated by sending in targeted magnetic waves. Repetitive TMS has also been proven to boost dopamine levels in certain areas of the brain. Considering dopamine is a key neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, this is beneficial.
TMS has been reported to help between 50 and 60% of those who have not seen any change after using medicine alone to treat their severe depression. In addition, a study found that 66% of TMS patients had a favorable reaction to the treatment when used in conjunction with therapy In addition, 56% of patients experienced symptoms remission. This suggests that TMS may be used as a therapeutic adjunct in persons suffering from treatment-resistant or severe depression.
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The bottom line
Although symptoms of depression may improve, these results are typically not permanent. There is a potential that the symptoms can resurface after a time, necessitating more transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy sessions.
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…
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…