Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS treatment, is a non-invasive method of mood regulation. It uses magnetic energy to excite target neurotransmitters responsible for mental disorders like depression. Understanding what this treatment is about can help you prepare for it. Here are the details about what happens during a TMS treatment.Talking to the doctor before the…
TMS Treatment Process Is Non Invasive Brain Stimulation
The TMS treatment process is a non-invasive alternative treatment for depression that involves stimulating the patient's brain. It is a painless process that rarely causes side effects, so anesthetics and sedatives are unnecessary.
The procedure is an effective way to alleviate the symptoms of depression even after medication has failed. Psychiatrists often combine transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with medication for faster results.
The TMS treatment process
TMS therapy involves sending magnetic waves into a patient's brain. This is done by placing a magnetic coil on the patient's head. The coil sends magnetic pulses into the patient's brain whenever it is switched on. The psychiatrist repeatedly turns it on and off during the treatment, sending magnetic pulses into the brain.
These magnetic waves are converted into electric currents in the brain to activate inactive regions of the brain, leading to more neurotransmitters being created. Neurotransmitters are chemicals made in the brain that are used to create new pathways and allow neurons to communicate with each other.
Creating new pathways in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and activating inactive regions reduces symptoms of depression. The prefrontal cortex regulates mood and emotions.
Treating depression with the TMS treatment process often starts with the patient being evaluated by a psychiatrist. An examination might be performed to rule out physical issues being the cause of the patient's symptoms. A psychiatric evaluation is also performed to determine the severity of the patient's depression and if TMS therapy is right for them.
A brain scan of the patient's brain is usually taken using magnetic resonance imaging. The scan is used to locate the best areas of the brain to target with the treatment.
TMS therapy is an outpatient procedure, and patients are not sedated during it. Most patients are free to return to their regular routine afterward. During the patient's first treatment session, their motor threshold is established before proceeding with the treatment. This sets a limit for the intensity of the magnetic waves used on the patient. It is determined by slowly increasing the intensity of the magnetic waves used until it causes the patient's hands or fingers to twitch.
Once the threshold is established, the psychiatrist proceeds with the session. Magnetic waves are repeatedly sent to the target areas for 20 to 40 minutes. TMS therapy involves getting up to five of these treatment sessions each week for six weeks. Many patients experience a reduction in their symptoms in as few as two weeks after starting treatment. People who combine TMS treatments with medication usually get faster results.
Most of their symptoms should be gone by the time their cycle is completed. People who get TMS therapy frequently enjoy the benefits of their treatment for years. Some patients go on to be depression-free for the rest of their lives.
We can help you get past depression
Our psychiatrist has years of experience treating patients with depression with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Call or visit us to set up an appointment.
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