Share the message

TMS Therapy: Stimulating the Brain – and Say Goodbye to Migraines

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Treatment in the form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can help to reduce and prevent migraines.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation can increase the response rate to depression. treatments, reducing the symptoms by 50% and providing an effective cure in 40% of cases.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation is safe due to the procedure being pain-free and not requiring any anesthetic.

 

TMS Therapy: Stimulating the Brain - and Say Goodbye to Migraines

Patients who suffered from central nervous system disorders that severely impact their daily life, such as chronic headaches, migraines and strokes, as well as people with mental health conditions, dementia or illnesses rendering them bed-ridden are usually only offered treatment in the form of medications or physiotherapy. However, continuous innovations in this field mean that it is now possible to utilize magnetic stimulation in the treatment and rehabilitation of brain function disorders. The procedure is completely safe, free of pain and does not require patients to be anesthetized. Moreover, the treatment takes a mere 30-60 minutes, offering highly satisfying results for the patients.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) utilizes magnetic wave (the same as those used for MRI scan) to send energy from the coil to the cranium’s surface, through the skull and into the brain. These waves improve communication between the cells of the brain, leading to changes in the potential of nervous system cells, including with regard to their functioning capabilities. The procedure can also be used to stimulate or suppress certain brain cell functions, depending on the direction or amount of the wave being transmitted.

Transcranial stimulation can be categorized into the following two forms:

  • Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a therapy used to treat large and wider areas of the brain, not targeting any specific section.
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a localized form of stimulation that aims to improve function over a smaller area than treated by tDCS.

How can transcranial magnetic stimulation be beneficial to brain function?

The brain cells undergo change as they receive energy in the form of the magnetic waves through this procedure, while the various electrical charges transmitted to brain cells result in changes of brain activities, causing the following changes of brain function:

  • Promoting production of various neurotransmitters, such as catecholamine and dopamine, thereby reducing or increasing neuron function and aiding synaptic plasticity.
  • Increasing regional blood flow, resulting in better circulation for the areas being stimulated.
  • Increasing production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), leading to growth of new nerve fiber strands, the results of which will differ from person to person due to individual genetic factors at play.

In addition to improved brain function, TMS treatment can also increase peripheral nervous system function, for instance, in terms of the spinal column, nerves and muscles, leading to changes of function in those areas.

Furthermore, the magnetic therapy and subsequent changes will last for long after stimulation.

Benefits of TMS treatment

Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment has been recognized as a standardized form of treatment for a range of conditions, while it has also been approved by the U.S. FDA due to its effectiveness in treating the following disorders:

  • Depression: The treatment can help to reduce the disorder’s symptoms by 50%, providing an effective cure in 40% of cases1,2.
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation: Increasing treatment efficacy by 30%2,3, including in regard to overall body movement4, language use5, swallowing function and improved hand movement6,7.
  • Reducing muscle spasms associated with dystonia8
  • Reducing chronic pain9
  • Reducing and preventing migraine headaches10
  • Terminating seizures in cases of resistance to anti-seizure medication11.
  • Identifying the area of the brain being targeted with high levels of accuracy prior to surgery12.
  • Increasing brain activity in coma patients13,14.
  • Stimulating memory function in patients with dementia or memory loss15.

Safety benefits of TMS

  • Offering a pain-free form of treatment which does not require patients to be anesthetized.
  • Outpatients may receive this treatment which can be carried out continuously over a number of days.
  • The procedure only takes around 30-60 minutes to complete.
  • The magnetic waves used do not contain any radioactive substances that can have both short- and long-term effects on the body.

Potential side effects that may arise from treatment

  • Muscle tension or jerking in the facial muscles resulting from the magnetic stimulation.
  • Dizziness or a loud ringing in the ears.
  • Seizures, although these are extremely rare (<0.1% of cases).

Stimulating brain function through magnetic wave technology is a new form of treatment, increasing the options available to those with central peripheral nervous system disorders. The procedure is extremely safe and can be carried out on a number of sessions while the side effects are minimal. Nevertheless, treatment will be most effective and efficient if combined with other treatments, such as medication used to treat symptoms and continuous courses of physiotherapy.


Related content

Ask a Quick Question

Please complete the form below and we'll get back to you within 48 hours with a response

Rate This Article

User rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings

Recommended Doctor

M.D., MSc. Jitlada Samajarn, M.D. Summary: Internal Medicine Neurology