Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Psychiatric issues are nowadays prevalent in today’s society and require the utmost patience when dealing with them. This is because neurological problems when solved cannot be easily seen and may reoccur later. There have emerged modern innovative facilities that can deal with Irvine psychiatry problems proficiently. The use of transcranial magnetic stimulation has been popularized in recent times. Details on how this therapeutic method works are discussed further below.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a technique that involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in your brain to alleviate the symptoms of depression. TMS is commonly used when other methods of treating depression have proved ineffective.

The treatment involves the delivery of repetitive magnetic pulses.

How TMS works

An electromagnetic coil is placed on your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet produces a painless magnetic pulse that triggers nerve cells in the brain region responsible for depression and mood control. Regions of the brain that had reduced activity due to depression are activated.

The exact science of how TMS works is not entirely understood, although the stimulation seems to affect the working of the brain, therefore, improving your mood through easing depression symptoms.

There are various techniques in which the procedure is performed depending on the expert and the most effective way that produces optimum results.

Why TMS is performed

Standard treatments for depression may not be effective in alleviating symptoms. Repetitive TMS is applied when standard treatment plans like psychotherapy and medications do not work.

Repetitive TMS is noninvasive and does not require surgery or electrode implantation. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, TMS does not require anesthesia sedation or result in seizures. It is generally safe with common side effects being:

  • Scalp discomfort at the area of stimulation
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Spasms, tingling, or twitching of facial muscles

Some rare side effects include:

  • Mania especially in patients with bipolar disorder
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss in cases of insufficient ear protection during treatment

A physical exam and a psychiatric evaluation is required before getting TMS treatment.

Information that you may need to disclose to your physician includes:

  • Any metal or implanted medical devices in your body
  • Pregnancy or plans to get pregnant
  • History of seizures or family history of epilepsy
  • Any medications being taken
  • Any other mental health disorders like bipolar disorders
  • Severe or frequent headaches
  • Brain damage due to injury or illnesses like strokes or a brain tumor
  • Prior TMS treatment and its effectiveness
  • Any underlying medical conditions

Repetitive TMS is typically done in your physician’s office or clinic. Its effectiveness is determined by the number of treatment sessions. These sessions may be done daily, four to five times a week for a period of four to six weeks. You can return to your normal activities in between treatments and you can also drive. Your depression symptoms improve or fade away within a couple of weeks.

There are many available solutions that deal with depression. Some of these solutions may be effective for some people while others may not. If other treatment options have proven ineffective, TMS can be a viable option. For any TMS inquiries, call our offices in Irvine, CA.