The human brain is a complex structure that remains unknown to some extent. In fact, author and American theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku, states that resting above our shoulders sits the most complicated structure found in the known universe.
Our brains consist of 100 billion neurons, which connect to thousands of different neurons, that then, according to Stanford University, communicate with each other at speeds up to 268 mph. That’s right, 268 mph! That’s amazing, but unfortunately not all of our brains work that efficiently. Many individuals deal with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), a common disorder stemming from inefficient brain functioning. With this in mind, providers across the nation and around the world are implementing different treatments in order to fight back.
A relatively new treatment in the battle is Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) — something I have learned about while working as a TMS technician for the past two years, treating over 70 patients. Through the eyes of our patients, I have seen depression first hand, and have learned how it affects not only individuals, but families. Fortunately, I have seen this treatment radically change lives.. so much so that I am often asked, “how does TMS work?” or “what does TMS do to the brain?”. These are valid questions, that I am able to answer by referencing two articles about the mechanisms of dTMS, also known as deep TMS. According to Mark George, director of the Medical University of South Carolina, a process known as long term potentiation, or in other words, long term, excitatory communication between neurons occurs during dTMS treatment. What this means is that with each train of stimulation we are trying to retrain your brain to communicate effectively, a process known as synaptic plasticity. Patricio Huerta and Bruce Volpe, professors at Cornell University would agree. They state that it is commonly accepted that dTMS encompasses neuronal processes such as synaptic plasticity. We can essentially retrain our brains using magnetic stimulation.
I have never seen a live brain before, and (somewhat) hope that I never do, but I am certain that dTMS affects our brains on a cellular level. I have seen many individuals rise out of the depths of their depression and completely change their world view! Deep TMS is an effective treatment that really works to help those in need.