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Overview

In Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), magnetic fields are used to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells. It is usually used in the treatment of depression when other conventional methods are not effective. During the procedure, an electromagnetic coil is used which is placed on the patient’s scalp. Magnetic pulses that are generated by the electromagnet are delivered through the brain through electrodes which stimulate nerve cells in particular brain regions associated with the condition to be treated, such as PTSD. rTMS is generally considered to be a well-tolerated and safe method of treatment. There may sometimes be side effects, which are usually of mild to moderate intensity and are temporary. These include – headache, tingling sensations, twitching of facial muscles, light-headedness, scalp discomfort at the stimulation site, etc. Though it is rare, rTMS may cause seizures in some people. Physical examinations and psychiatric evaluations are a must before conducting an rTMS session to ensure its safety for the patient.

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How effective is rTMS for PTSD?

rTMS is effective for PTSD in helping patients transiently reduce the re-experiencing, avoidance reactions as well as anxiety symptoms associated with their trauma.

How long does an rTMS session for PTSD last?

The session can last from 30 to 60 minutes.

How many numbers of sessions are required?

The number of sessions required depends on the patient’s condition as well as their response to the treatment.