Why is TMS used?
Depression is a treatable condition. But for some people, standard treatments aren’t effective. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is typically used when standard treatments such as medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy) are not effective.
TMS may be an appropriate treatment option for adult patients with treatment resistant major depression, who have failed to achieve a satisfactory response from prior trials of antidepressant medications (defined as “treatment resistant depression”).
The aim of TMS treatment is to lift your mood. With an improvement in mood there is often an associated improvement in sleep, appetite, energy and concentration and a decrease in negative thoughts. TMS is an acute treatment for depression and you will require ongoing treatment from your psychiatrist to maintain remission.
How does it work?
TMS treatment is a non-invasive treatment based on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which delivers magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the part of the brain controlling mood, which is often underactive in patients with depression.
The brain is an organ that functions through complex electrochemical processes, which may be impaired by certain types of mental illness. Scientists believe TMS acts by temporarily altering some of these processes, thereby returning function to normal.
TMS treatment delivers magnetic fields via a coil that is applied to one side of the patient’s scalp, generally above the left side of the head (above the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex)