Transcranial magnetic stimulation, most often referred to by the acronym TMS, is a medical treatment aimed at improving conditions caused by neuron activity in the brain. Whether the medical issue taking place is due to too much neuron activity or too little, TMS can often provide a possible treatment that can help many patients in certain cases. TMS is a very specific form of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
While ECT in general has been practiced in some form since the 1940’s and 1950’s, according to WebMD, TMS has been receiving more attention in recent decades as a variety of laboratory studies has shown the expanded potential this treatment has to help a variety of patients, as indicated by the over 60 clinical trials TMS has been featured in, according to Brainsway.
What is Brain Stimulation?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation works as a treatment because it’s used as a form of brain stimulation. There are a wide variety of different afflictions that come almost 100% from a brain that just isn’t functioning the way that a normal brain does. Since the way the brain works is similar to electrical currents, the use of small amounts of electricity can be used to jolt parts of the brain into functioning closer to a normal rate to allow for a normal release of hormones, or allow the neurons to fire better to return to a more normal state of thinking.
The idea with brain stimulation is that some sort of force is used to fix underperforming areas that could be causing issues. Neurons not being conducive to the brain’s signals could cause depression, or an overactive area could be causing migraines. Magnetic waves are a popular choice because they can affect brain waves without causing damage to the skin or brain itself.
Everything from emotions to addiction to depression and some forms of obsessive compulsive disorder can all be caused simply because the neurons in the brain of a patient don’t fire the way they do in other people. This is why brain stimulation like TMS offers opportunity for healing that conventional prescription drugs and other conventional treatments might not.
The process of TMS Los Angeles
When a patient is undertaking this treatment, they first have to remove any metal objects that may get caught up in a magnet. According to Johns Hopkins, it’s important for the initial setup and testing to be done carefully.
Every patient is going to be a little different when it comes to how much force they need to make a solid impact as you don’t want to put too much force through a brain when a much smaller pulse gets the neurons firing the way they need to be. This is done through a special coil that is designed to release short magnetic pulses, allowing it to help affect how the brain’s neurons are firing.
TMS is non-invasive in nature, with the magnetic tools placed in areas around the head to focus on the most direct path to the part of the brain that most likely needs treatment. This can vary based on the particular treatment, but generally speaking the main objective of TMS is to provide a non-invasive way to stimulate neurons to be more conducive to the brain’s electrical signals. Often times, depression or migraines can be traced back to these being less responsive than average.
What Can TMS Treat?
TMS is rarely considered the first option when it comes to treating certain conditions, but it has showed very promising results as a therapy for a wide array of conditions that are rooted in how the brain is wired. TMS has even received FDA approval for depression that appears resistant to every other form of treatment.
Just a few of the conditions that TMS can treat include:
- Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Smoking Cessation
The side effects from TMS are relatively rare, and not as serious as some of the side effects of treatments many people have to try before getting approved for TMS. Because of this, many professionals consider transcranial magnetic stimulation to be a treatment worth taking the risk on since the potential treatment benefits so heavily outweigh the potential side effects.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers dTMS treatments Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.