What is rTMS and how does it work?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a drug-free non-invasive treatment in which magnetic radiations are used to treat mental illnesses.
A magnetic coil is used to send signals to the affected brain area. Since the brain uses electric signals to communicate between nerves, magnetic radiation is used to change these signals in the part of the brain responsible for mental illness. It is specifically useful for treating patients who do not respond to other treatments. Research shows that some of these patients make full recovery.
What are the benefits of rTMS?
There are several benefits of rTMS, such as:
- It is non-invasive
- Its benefits can be experienced sooner
- In all most all cases, there are only minor side effects
- It is possible to go about performing daily activities right after a session
What all illnesses can be treated through rTMS?
Some of the following illnesses can be treated using rTMS
- The depressive phase of bipolar disorder
What can be expected during an rTMS session?
- You will be asked to sit in a reclining chair and a metallic coil would be placed on your head.
- The pulse would move through the coil to your brain. It doesn’t cause any pain and may feel like a gentle tap on the head.
- The frequency of the pulse will be determined in the first session by increasing magnetic dose until your hand twitches.
- The repeated stimulus would be administered at the threshold frequency, thereafter.
What are the side effects of rTMS?
In most cases, rTMS has minor side effects, such as:
- Short lasting headache
- Discomfort at the site of stimulation
- Tingling, spasms, or twitching of facial muscles
rTMS cannot be used in case of epilepsy, during pregnancy, with a metal implant, with certain medications, some mental health disorders, or brain injury.