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How Does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Work?

TMSTranscranial Magnetic Stimulation — is a proven treatment for depression that remains uncured with ordinary methods. This is considered as one of the most important tools in today’s psychiatric treatments.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a noninvasive procedure which does not require any skin penetration like other treatments.

So how does this treatment work well to treat depression when other procedures fail?

TMS produces significant changes in the neuronal activity, and in all those brain’s regions which are implicated in the regulation of mood such as the prefrontal cortex. As every magnetic pulse passes into the brain through the skull, this induces a small activity of the cells in the human brain.

The frequency at which the pulse is delivered, actually influences increased or decreased brain activity by a TMS session. Moreover, recent studies suggest that stimulation over the right and left sides of the brain may have opposite impacts on mood regulation.

The Application of TMS

During the TMS session, measurements are taken to position the TMS coil properly over the head of the patient. Further, it is suspended all over the patient’s scalp to measure the motor threshold – administrating many brief pulses. The motor threshold varies from patient to patient and it is the minimum power amount that is required to create a twitch in the patient’s thumb – helping the physician in personalizing the settings of the treatment.

Once the threshold is determined, the coil is then rested over the front region of the brain. As the treatment begins, the patient hears several clicking sounds, along with tapping sensations under the coil.

Whereas the motor threshold is not actually checked at each treatment, it may be reassessed in the case of having some changes; for instance, changes in the medication.

The initial motor threshold is only determined and administered under or by a physician. Hence, adequate care should be taken in choosing only reputed healthcare professionals to perform the procedure.

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