Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a revolutionary noninvasive form of brain stimulation that uses magnetic pulses to help treat severe depression. Let’s examine the impact of TMS on the brain.
What Is TMS?
- TMS stimulates regions of the brain that are underactive in patients with depression.
- During TMS treatment, magnetic pulses are sent to these regions.
- These magnetic pulses stimulate neural activity in the underactive areas.
- The pulses help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for patients with depression.
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How Does TMS Modify Neurons in the Brain?
- During a TMS therapy session, an electromagnetic coil is placed on a patient’s scalp, near the left temple
- Magnetic pulses are delivered into the part of the brain responsible for mood to stimulate nerve cells in that region.
- The pulses activate regions of the brain where there is decreased activity that contributes to depression symptoms.
What Effect Does TMS Have on the Brain?
- The use of magnetic pulses during TMS has been shown to help reduce depression symptoms and improve mood.
- TMS is believed to create long-lasting neural activation in parts of the brain responsible for mood.
- This results in long-lasting relief from depression symptoms that does not require medication.
What Are the Results of TMS?
- A typical TMS therapy program helps improve depression symptoms.
- In approximately 49% of cases, a patient’s depression symptoms are eliminated after a complete series of TMS treatments.
- TMS is generally safe and well-tolerated, and the side effects are usually minimal (i.e. transitory headache for some patients in the first week of treatment).
- To date, Achieve TMS has provided over 45,000 TMS treatment sessions, resulting in a 49% remission rate and a 70% response rate for those patients who complete treatment.
To learn more about TMS treatment or to schedule a consultation with Achieve TMS, please call or text us at 877-257-3193.
Hear More from One of Our Technicians
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 Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) — 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 TMS, 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 TMS 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 TMS 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! TMS is an effective treatment that really works to help those in need.