Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and the Non-invasive Stimulation of Brain
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation was introduced in 1989 but until recently, rTMS or repetitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation was just a little-known method of stimulating our brain, non-invasively.
However, in 1995, the demonstration of rTMS possible and effective therapeutic effects on depression marked an increased interest among neurologists, psychiatrists, public and basic scientists.
So how does this well-recognized procedure stimulate the human brain and help in the treatment of chronic depression?
To discuss this, let us dig deeper into TMS principles!
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation uses the inductance principle to provide electrical energy all across the human skull and scalp. This is done without causing the pain of direct electrical stimulation. During TMS, a small coil of wire is placed on the scalp and a rapidly changing and powerful current is passed through it.
This results in a magnetic field. This filed passes relatively painlessly and impeded through the head tissues. However, the maximum strength of this magnetic field is linked with the number of turns of wire and magnitude of current in the coil. On the other hand, the magnetic field induces a much lighter or weaker electrical current in the human brain.
The induced current’s strength is the function of the magnetic field’s rate of change. This is ascertained by the rate of change of the current present in the coil. To excite brain neurons, there is a need to produce enough current. Also, the current that passes through the coil should change in just a few hundred microseconds.
rTMS has already been proved as one of the safest and effective methods to treat patients suffering from chronic depression. The procedure is now being recommended by many reputed professionals. Indeed, the effectiveness and results of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation highly depend on the choice of a professional to perform the treatment.