How Does TMS Work?

How does TMS Work?

During TMS Therapy, the treating psychiatrist positions the treatment coil over the left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain thought to be involved with mood regulation.  Through the treatment coil, the TMS Therapy system generates a highly concentrated, magnetic field which turns on and off rapidly.  The magnetic field is the same type and strength as that produced by a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.  The magnetic field passes through the hair, scalp and skull and into the prefrontal cortex.  This method allows for a precise type of stimulation, minimizing the stimulation of brain tissue not involved in moods.

 

Inside the brain, the dynamic nature of the pulsed magnetic field induces electrical charges to flow.  The amount of electricity created in the brain is very small, but these small electric charges cause the neurons to fire or become active.  The treatment goal is to stimulate brain cells non-invasively without anesthesia or sedation.  The most common side effects associated with TMS Therapy are scalp pain or discomfort at the site of application.  Patients remain awake and alert throughout the TMS Therapy session, able to resume normal life activities immediately following treatment.