What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a cutting edge treatment for depression that involves stimulation of brain tissue using electromagnetic pulses. This noninvasive procedure improves symptoms of depression by activated the parts of the brain associated with mood control and depression. TMS therapy has grown in popularity due to the high degree of effectiveness while having very few side effects and absolutely no circulation of medication in the bloodstream.
The process starts with the placement of an electromagnetic coil over the scalp near the forehead. The motor strip, the area of the brain responsible for movement of limbs and muscles, is then mapped out. This is necessary in order to subsequently determine the location of the lateral pre-frontal cortex. The actual procedure involves a delivering a sequence of magnetic pulses to the left lateral pre-frontal cortex to induce stimulation. The magnetic stipulses pass through the scalp and the skull to reach the target brain tissue. TMS activates the actual neurons by inducing an electrical current in the part of the brain cell called the axon. This current travels to the nerve cell body and then affects other connecting brain cells. This stimulation ultimately creates the powerful antidepressant effect.
TMS depression therapy when conventional treatments for Major Depression have not worked. TMS is also an option for individuals who suffer from Major Depression and do not wish to take medications. TMS was approved by the FDA for the indication of treatment resistant depression in 2008. Deep TMS, possible with the newer generation of TMS technology, was approved by the FDA for the indication of treatment resistant depression in 2013.