Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Anxiety and Depression
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been utilized to analyze the nerve fibers that transmit information regarding movements from the brain to the spinal cord and on to the muscles. In 1990s, doctors investigated the therapeutic possibilities of transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of various mental health disorders; depression is one of the most studied mental health disorders as it relates to the efficacy of TMS in treating depression. In 2008, FDA approved TMS as a mean of treatment for patients struggling with depression who have not responded to anti-depressants medications. The rate of effectiveness of TMS for anxiety and depression is 60-80% which is very significant particularly for patients that have treatment resistant anxiety and depression.
TMS is a non-invasive, medication-free treatment that uses MRI wavelength to stimulate only those parts of the brain that is affected by depression. Typical TMS session is done in less than 45 minutes 4-5 times a week for about 6-8 weeks. There are minimum side-effects and most people resume regular daily routines following the treatment session.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Side-effects
Patient undergoing treatment with TMS treatment report minimum side effects. The most usual side-effect, reported by about half of patients undergoing treatment with rTMS, is headaches. These are minor and generally fade over the course of the treatment. Over-the-counter pain medication can be utilized to treat these headaches.Some patients may experience painful scalp sensations or facial twitching with TMS pulses. These too tend to fade over the course of treatmen; however, modifications can be made instantaneously in coil positioning and stimulation settings to decrease discomfort.
The most important benefit of TMS treatment is that it does not cause the many side-effects caused by antidepressant medications, such as gastrointestinal upset, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, or sedation.