First introduced in 1985 as a new method of noninvasive stimulation of the brain, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a method that involves placement of a small coil over the scalp and fast alternating current is passed through the coil wire, which produces a magnetic field that goes unhindered through the brain. This method was first used to study nerve conduction. Notice in the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression was impelled by the development of an apparatus that could deliver fast, repetitive stimulation. In distinction from electroconvulsive therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression does not necessitate anesthesia, and does not encourage a convulsion. Particularly, initial studies suggested that transcranial magnetic stimulation of the prefrontal cortex was connected with antidepressant characteristics.Learn more about us at Tampa TMS Therapy Association
TMS of the brain is considered investigational as a treatment of all psychiatric disorders including depression, but not limited to it. Transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression or other mood disorders on its published writing is made up of small controlled trials of limited follow-up, comprising of different patient population, stimulation parameters, and location of stimulus. Although some studies of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression suggest the potential of this method of treatment, others find no benefit.
A new study from the University of Bonn, lately published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, shows that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression (rTMS) offers almost the same decrease in depression symptoms as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), but with no side effects on memory or other cognitive harms that ECT has.
The researchers warn though, that because of the small sample size of only thirty patients engaged in the study, and the separation of patient groups was not made on a random basis, their conclusion may not be wholly dependable. However, with other investigations also having signified that rTMS can better the mood of depression sufferers, this new discovery on memory side effects is very promising.
For a lot of people experiencing major depression, treatment such as psychotherapy or medication or a combination of both, can be effective in helping overcome the symptoms. However, for about one in twenty depression sufferers, symptoms are so intense that neither these alternatives work for them, thus they seek a more effective treatments.
The position of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression requires further study, and it is not known whether it would be used as an alternative to electroconvulsive therapy or simply an optional extra to partially effective pharmacologic therapy. Lastly, currently, there are no devices of TMS that have received approval from FDA as a treatment of any neuropsychiatric disorder, which includes depression.