What Is TMS?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS or rTMS as it is sometimes known), is a treatment for depression. A large electromagnetic coil is positioned on the scalp to induce small electrical currents that stimulate the brain.
By stimulating the part of the brain thought to be responsible for mood regulation, this treatment aims to normalise connectivity in the cortical-subcortical networks. When effective, TMS causes depression to go into remission or its symptoms to be substantially reduced.
What Is TMS?
Typically used when standard treatments such as medication have failed or are not tolerated, TMS has proven to be a breakthrough in the management of treatment resistant depression.
Clinical trials of the use of TMS in the treatment of other conditions including obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD and auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia are currently underway, making TMS one of the biggest developments in psychiatry in recent years.
TMS is a non-invasive procedure, that does not require an anaesthetic and is generally well tolerated with minimal side effects.
Unlike vagus nerve stimulation or deep brain stimulation, TMS does not require surgery or the implantation of electrodes. And, unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), TMS doesn’t cause memory loss or cognitive impairment.
Patients undertake 3- 5 sessions per week, with each session lasting for approximately 30 minutes. The mild nature of the treatment enables patients to drive after a session with little interruption to daily activities.