What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

December 29, 2017


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate key areas of the brain. It is an FDA-approved treatment for major depression and other conditions like anxiety, PTSD, stroke, anorexia, autism spectrum disorders, and for pain management. It’s generally safe and offers long-lasting effects compared to conventional treatment methods.

How It Works

During a TMS therapy session, an electromagnetic coil is placed on the head, above the targeted area of the brain.

The magnetic fields from the device do not directly affect the whole brain. They only reach about 2-3 centimeters beneath the treatment coil. As they move into the brain, they produce very small electric currents, which stimulate the nerve cells that are involved in depression and mood control.

The exact mechanism of how TMS works is still not completely understood but several studies have shown that the stimulation from TMS helps in easing the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. It is also shown to help in the recovery of stroke patients.

The initial treatment course is usually comprised of five treatments per week for four to six weeks. Additional TMS sessions may be needed for optimal antidepressant benefits or “maintenance” for some.

Is it safe?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a safe and non-drug therapy option for patients with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and PTSD.

Compared to the conventional treatment methods like drug therapy, TMS is not associated with major side effects. There may be slight discomfort or pain at the treatment site but it’s only temporary.

To find out if TMS Therapy could make a difference in  your life, call (520) 338-2557 to schedule your free consultation today.