Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a technique for the treatment of Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Asperger’s, Parkinson’s, Senile Dementia, Insomnia, Addictions, Bulimia, Anorexia, Personality Disorder, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, which acts by directly stimulating the brain. Transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS.
EMT activates certain parts of the brain by using electromagnetic energy that passes through a coil to create a powerful magnetic field.
This energy is transferred to the brain. During a treatment session, the energy from this magnetic field is transferred to the brain. Magnetic energy passes easily through the skin and skull, activating the brain is painless and without the need for surgery or sedation.
TMS is applied to areas of the brain associated with mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex acting on altered brain functions and neurochemical activity. This activates the normal production of substances produced by the brain that are responsible for maintaining mental health.
When is repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) used?
In certain conditions such as the autism spectrum (e.g. asperger), it is the first line therapy along with the appropriate therapies. For other conditions, patients can choose drugs and therapy as their first line of treatment. In cases where drug treatments or therapies do not work, RTMS (r=repetitive) is used, even to increase the effectiveness of the drugs.
What is a repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation procedure?
At each repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation session, you will sit in a specially designed chair to receive the treatment that can be reclined. You will be fully awake and alert, and can speak even during treatment.
Because repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses magnetic pulses, before starting a treatment, you are asked to remove any sensitive magnetic objects (such as jewelry, earrings, credit cards, cell phones, glasses).
The center provides earplugs for your hearing comfort and protection as the EMTr produces a click with each pulse, much like an MRI machine. You can listen to music or watch television during treatment to minimize the sound of the equipment.
During the first EMTr session, several measurements are made to ensure that the EMT coil is positioned correctly over the patient’s head. This means that the magnetic coil rests on the appropriate area of the scalp and the settings (dose parameters) are determined prior to the start of the session.
Once this is done, the EMT coil is suspended on the patient’s scalp. The physician then measures the patient’s motor threshold by administering several short pulses. The motor threshold is the minimum amount of energy needed to cause the patient’s thumb to contract slightly, and this varies from individual to individual.
The motor threshold measurement helps the psychiatrist personalize the treatment setting and determines the amount of energy needed to stimulate the brain regions.
Once the motor threshold is determined, the coil is then carried forward so that it rests on top of the frontal region of the patient’s brain. Treatment then begins. During treatment, you may hear a series of clicks and feel a sensation of light tapping under the treatment coil.
Successive treatment sessions do not require the motor threshold to be redetermined, unless otherwise indicated, for example, when medication changes are made during the course of treatment.
Who prescribes and administers Transcranial Repetitive Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is always prescribed by the private psychiatrist or the Cardiocenter Mental Health and Psychiatry team after consultation and specialized evaluation. A physician will be in consultation prior to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to determine if you are a suitable candidate for treatment, during the administration of TMS therapy and the care and follow-up of your illness after completing TMS therapy.
The treatment itself is administered by specialized staff. The patient may stop treatment at any time.
How long does a repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS) procedure take?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy involves a series of treatment sessions. Treatment sessions are approximately 30 – 60 minutes each, and are administered 5 days a week for a period of 2-8 weeks depending on each patient. However, this may vary depending on the response to treatment. Usually the noticeable change in psychiatric symptoms occurs after 15 sessions.
Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation interrupt other areas of brain function or change my personality?
No. One of the benefits of TMS, in relation to other treatments, is the precision it achieves, it allows the stimulus to be directed to very specific parts of the brain. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation does not lead to memory problems or other alterations in thinking.
It does not change a person’s personality, however, when patients experience relief from the symptoms of depression and other psychiatric manifestations, their ability to think and function normally improves, resulting in improved quality of life for the patient and family members.
In some cases of symptomatology, severe neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) there may be a “rebound” of symptoms in the first weeks, before the improvement becomes evident.