About TMS

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a safe and effective FDA approved treatment for depression. The treatment is non-invasive (does not involve surgery, anesthesia or sedation) and non-systemic. It does not have the significant side effects associated with antidepressants. TMS uses pulsing magnetic fields to activate brain centers associated with mood. TMS has been used as a research tool since the 1980’s and has been shown in controlled studies to produce good results in the treatment of depression. It is now being studied for use in the treatment of other conditions.

How Does it Work?
The TMS therapy system generates a highly concentrated magnetic field produced by a treatment coil which turns on and off very rapidly. These magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those produced by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The treatment coil is applied to the head above the left prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is involved in mood regulation, and is therefore the location where the magnetic fields are focused. These magnetic fields do not directly affect the whole brain. They only reach about 2 – 3 centimeters into the brain directly beneath the treatment coil. As these magnetic fields pulse they produce very small electrical currents. These electrical currents increase activity in the brain centers associated with mood which is thought to enhance the release of neurotransmitters.