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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
The Second Class Honors, M.D., Faculty of Medicine, Mahidol University, 2008 Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University , 2008