Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive, targeted medical device which stimulates the brain with electromagnetic pulse energy to stimulate neurons in the brain. It is a very safe and effective treatment with limited side effects that is being utilized to treat different psychiatric and neurological conditions ranging from depression to chronic pain.  

TMS for Major Depressive Disorder

TMS has FDA approval for Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder in 2008. Albeit, This treatment is reserved for patients who have failed two or three antidepressant medication trials. Overall, clinicians report 60-80% patient positive response or full remission of depressive symptoms. Finally, Neuronetics is responsible for the first NeuroStar TMS device used to treat MDD with their patented Figure 8-coil. 

Different TMS Devices

 Obviously, although Neurostar is the first, there are several companies on the market that manufacture TMS devices. As a matter of fact, there are four other companies such as Brainsway, Magstim, Magventure, just to name a few. We expect there to be continual improvements on this technology over the future which will enable further treatment options for those suffering from neuropsychiatric conditions.

TMS for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a condition that affects many individuals who suffer from obsessions and compulsions that impact the quality of their life. In 2020, TMS gained FDA approval for the treatment of OCD.

Although research is ongoing, some evidence highlights specific parts of the brain, including the DLPFC may be involved in OCD. Brain stimulation treatment for OCD when other forms of treatment, such as therapy and medication, is unsuccessful.

TMS Smoking Cessation

Brainsway is an Israel based company which produces a Deep TMS machine which utilizes their patented H-coil technology. At this time, Brainsway is the only TMS machine manufacturer that has FDA approval for the treatment of smoking cessation. 

Safety of TMS in Smoking

Using diary records, a large study shows that participants who received active TMS smoked significantly fewer cigarettes per day compared to sham . Safety outcomes are consistent with TMS smoking cessation trials, as  headache as the most common adverse event.

Altogether, the first large multicenter randomized controlled trial on TMS for a substance use disorder, this trial demonstrated safety and efficacy of daily high-frequency rTMS over the lateral prefrontal cortex and insula during the induction of nicotine craving.


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