Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – What to Expect

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – What to Expect

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS – is a major tool in the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. This is a non-invasive method that stimulates the peripheral nervous system and the brain by means of induced currents.

Since the development of the method in 1985, the method has been considered safe for humans. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is thus, commonly performed on an outpatient basis. The effectiveness of the treatment usually requires multiple treatment sessions as prescribed. Generally, the sessions are conducted five times per week or daily – for about four to six weeks.

Here is what to expect throughout the sessions.

First treatment session:

In this session, the consultant identifies the adequate place to attach magnets to the head and the need for a magnetic dose specific to your case. The session duration is typically 60 minutes.

Most likely, you will be asked to sit in a chair (a reclining one) along with earplugs to wear. Next is the mapping part, in which an electromagnetic coil is placed against the head and repeatedly switched on and off to create stimulating pulses. You will feel the sensation of tapping on the forehead as the sound usually lasts for a few seconds.

The doctor will then produce hands or finger twitching sensations – motor threshold, to determine the right dose required.

During a treatment:

Once the dose is known, the same process will be repeated in each session. Each session of mapping and tapping on the forehead will last about 40 minutes as you stay alert and awake. However, you may feel discomfort on the scalp for a short period, afterward.

After a treatment:

The treatment allows you to carry on with regular activities throughout the day. To be precise, you can continue to work and drive between treatment sessions.

While there are many ways to carry out the treatment, the best way to work around TMS is to get the insight of a reputed psychiatrist.

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Summary

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – TMS – is a major tool in the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders. This is a non-invasive method that stimulates the peripheral nervous system and the brain by means of induced currents.

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