Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy TMS

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy. TMS is way of targeting specific areas of the brain with a strong, pulsed magnetic field to stimulate brain cells. Stimulating brain cells to treat psychiatric disorders is a growing area of research and clinical practice. Seven of the top ten academic centers that train new psychiatrists are now providing TMS and there are about 260 TMS centers across the US. This is an alternative or augmentation to medications in treating depression.

When brain cells are stimulated, they release brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These substances are important for mood and anxiety regulation. During Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy, an area about the size of a golf ball near the brain surface (the cortex) is directly stimulated by the magnetic field. In addition, there are circuits which connect the surface of the brain to deeper brain structures allowing activation of several other areas of the brain also. All these areas are involved in mood regulation.

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