Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
A New Hope In The Treatment Of Depression
What is TMS?
TMS, or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a painless and effective way to target and stimulate parts of the brain. The aim is a life healed from depression. Unlike antidepressants, which influence neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, TMS affects the neural circuits. It is an effective way to reboot the brain’s circuitry. It has been FDA-approved for the treatment of Treatment-Resistant Depression since 2008 and is widely used in Europe and Australia.
What to expect from TMS?
- TMS is an individualised treatment programme usually done in a doctor’s office or clinic. It requires a series of treatment sessions to be effective. Generally, sessions are carried out daily, five times a week for four to six weeks.
- During the first session, a psychiatrist will assess your suitability for the treatment and explain everything to you. The psychiatrist will take your head measurements to establish the treatment area, motor threshold, and dosages.
- Before the treatment, you will need to remove all items sensitive to magnets, like jewellery.
- You will sit in a comfortable chair and be awake throughout the session.
- Because there is a clicking noise, you will wear earplugs to protect your hearing.
- A TMS technician will administer the treatments, which last 30 – 60 minutes.
- Afterwards, you can drive home and resume normal activities.
Side effects of TMS
TMS has been studied for over 30 years and is a safe option without long-term side effects. Some minor side effects like scalp discomfort, headache, and tiredness may occur during treatment. Patients develop tolerance to these side effects after the first two weeks of treatment.
Treatment is available at:
Claro Clinic in Cape Town
St Catherine’s Life Path Hospital in Pietermaritzburg
Glenmarks Clinic in Durban.