Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a method which brings in use electromagnetic induction for the purpose of brain stimulation where in a magnetic field generator or electromagnetic coil is placed against the patient’s head. The coil produces magnetic pulse in the region of the brain it has been attached to. The pulse are said to activate the regions of the brain that has reduced activity due to depression.
When is it done?
Generally, TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is used to treat such depressions where medication does not prove effective. It is in those treatment resistant major depressive cases that TMS is seen to have come of help. TMS also relieves neuropathic pain and is also used in diagnosis of damages due to movement disorders, strokes, multiple sclerosis, injuries, motor neuron disease or other disorders that affect the cranial nerves, neck and facial nerves and the spinal cord.
Although Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a safe procedure, the following risks may be observed:
- Pain or discomfort
- Mild seizures
- A transient loss of hearing or memory may also be experienced
The magnetic field produced by the coil in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is the same in strength as that in MRI.Various types of coils can be used for TMS like- round coil, Hesed coil, Figure-eight coil, double cone coil, four leaf coil. Though attempts for brain stimulation using magnetic field had begun in 1896, it wasn’t until 1985 that a successful TMS study could be performed. The latter proved to be a more comfortable procedure in comparison to the 1980 TMS which involved direct electric current. Modern day TMS is a painless and safe procedure.
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