What Is DTMS Therapy?

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, also known as dTMS therapy, is an FDA-approved treatment which has provided positive outcomes in multiple Brainsway clinical trials for patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and smoking cessation. DTMS is a brain stimulation therapy that involves sending magnetic pulses to the brain through coils that are attached to the patient’s head. The treatment is non-invasive; therefore no medical procedures, such as injections, stimulants, surgical treatments, etc., are involved. The approval of a physician, usually a psychiatrist, is required to begin this treatment. Each session lasts about 20 minutes, and most treatments are given five days a week, or as recommended by a psychiatrist. Patients experience intervals of a couple of seconds of intensified stimulation followed by 10 second pauses. Unlike other treatments, dTMS requires no additional medications to be prescribed, other than the ones used currently by the patient. In some cases, patients are required to stop taking specific medication to ensure that there is no interference to the brain stimulation therapy, which is determined on a case to case basis, and is dependent on the patient's cause for treatment (depression, OCD, MCI, or smoking cessation).

DTMS For Depression

The use of Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has proven to be effective in various clinical trials for depression. The studies have found that DTMS has been able to help some patients that have found no relief from the use of antidepressant drugs.  In the evaluation of 65 depressive patients, Zangen, A., et al., found no adverse side effects from this depression treatment. Patients reported higher scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and an improvement in cognitive impairments. (Zangen, A., et al., 2005).

DTMS For Smoking Cessation

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a treatment for individuals with the desire to stop smoking (smoking cessation) is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.  Current research shows a positive correlation for the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation and the desire to stop smoking. Research by Li X, et. al. has found that a single session of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation with high frequency showed a reduced desire and craving for smoking (Li X, et. al., 2013). This was achieved through stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important part in decision making and working memory. In studies, when presented with a smoking cue, participants reported lower smoking cravings following brain stimulation treatment. Therefore, it is believed that DTMS can lead participants to have greater self control when it comes to deciding whether to smoke or not. Research thus far has shown positive implications of transcranial magnetic stimulation in controlling nicotine cravings.

CalNeuro Research Group, located on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, is currently conducting clinical trials with dTMS for participants experiencing some of the issues above, including smoking cessation and OCD.  Interested participants can visit or contact them by phone at (310) 208-7144 to be screened for eligibility for participation in the studies.


1. Lakhan, S.E. and E. Callaway, Deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder and

treatment-resistant depression: systematic review. BMC Res Notes, 2010. 3: p. 60.

2. Zangen, A., et al., Transcranial magnetic stimulation of deep brain regions: evidence for efficacy of

the H-Coil. Clinical Neurophysiology, 2005. 116(4): p. 775.

3. Li X, Hartwell KJ, Owens M, Lematty T, Borckardt JJ, Hanlon CA, Brady KT, George MS. (2013)

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduces nicotine cue

craving. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Apr 15;73(8):714-20.

4. Zangen A, Hyodo K (2002) Transcranial magnetic stimulation induces increases in extracellular

levels of dopamine and glutamate in the nucleus accumbens. Neuroreport 13:2401-2405.