What is rTms Treatment for Depression?

by cadabamshospital

25 January,2021 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

In many cases of depression, a psychiatrist may usually prescribe medications such as antidepressants. While these medications do help in controlling various levels of depression, there may be cases where the individual discontinues or gains dependency on the same. 

rTms treatment for depression serves as a good alternative to standard medication. Another great advantage of rTms treatment is that it is a completely non-invasive procedure. 

So, what is rTms exactly?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a new and effective brain stimulation therapy that is used to treat various types of health conditions related to the brain.

A Brief History of the Treatment

rTMS was discovered by Anthony Barker and team in 1985. The core technique is based on the principles of Michael Faraday’s electromagnetic stimulation experiment, 1981. The whole idea is to generate the magnetic field by passing electricity through the coil. 

How rTms Treatment Works

During the rTMS session, the professional fixes the electromagnetic coils near the forehead. Exactly the place where the brain regulates mood. The targeted spot of the brain gets the magnetic pulses through the coil. It produces the electric current which incites the brain cells to reduce symptoms of depression (spot of the brain is often decided based on the type of illness).

The Other Illnesses That Can Be Treated

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Addiction
  • Many more mental health conditions...

When rTMS treatment is used?

The primary treatment options for depression is antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. In some cases, it may not work for a few people. It could be because they are allergic to medications or an inadequate response to the antidepressant. Such people would presumably go for rTMS treatment.   

5 benefits of rTMS treatment

  • Non-invasive procedure: 

Sometimes undergoing invasive or medication treatments may create a sense of fear in the individual's mind. Furthermore, the invasion has a lot of side effects such as anxiety, confusion, and delirium. Unlike any therapy, rTMS doesn't involve any invasion or medications in the treatment process.

  • Fast onset effect:

A recent study conducted by the University Health Clinic at Western Hospital in Toronto, Canada, shows- 1 in 3 patients experiences positive improvements in their symptoms of depression after 20 to 30 sessions. If the individual undergoes a medication process, the improvements may take a while, like weeks or months. In rTMS, the individual seeks improvements in the first week of treatment.

  • There isn’t a recovery period

As forth mentioned, rTMS doesn't follow any invasive or medications process and quick onset, hence it does not need any time-period for recovery.  

  • Cognitive improvements
  • Experiencing depression symptoms may cause cognitive impairments. Studies and research have shown individuals who undergo rTMS treatments mark an increase in cognitive functions. The frequency of rTMS improves the individual’s attention, memory, and cerebral functions such as decision making and reasoning.

    rTMS Side Effects

    rTMS doesn’t usually lead to pain, but a few people have been reported to experience slight discomfort during the procedure. Generally, the side effects that may occur with rTMS are mild to moderate and fade away with additional sessions. Some of them include –

    • Tightening or a tingling sensation in the face muscles, jaw, or scalp due to the electromagnetic pulses
    • Lightheadedness
    • Mild headaches
    • A rare and low risk of seizures
    • Temporary hearing problems

    Frequently Asked Questions on rTMS

    • Does it hurt?

    During the initial sessions, there might be slight discomfort. As the sessions progress the intensity of the discomfort reduces.   

    • Is rTMS is safe?

    Yes, it is a safe treatment method. The procedure is non-invasive and it doesn’t require any medications or needles.

    • What are the illnesses that can be treated through rTMS?

    Stress, anxiety, panic attack, OCD, schizophrenia, addiction, chronic pain, sleep issues and brain injuries.

    • How much time does it take for a session?

    The timeframe of a session may last anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes.

    • How many sessions does it take to seek improvement?

    rTMS doesn't have a recovery period to seek improvement. It is a quick onset process, the individual starts seeing improvement from the first sessions only.

    • How many sessions in a week?

    At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we offer 5 sessions per week

    • What is the difference between ECT and rTMS?

    Both treatment methods involve a different approach. In ECT, the whole brain receives an impulse to improve the mood. Whereas in rTMS, only the targeted part (specific nerve cell) of the brain receives the impulse.    

    • How do I book an appointment for rTMS treatment?

    For appointments call us @ +91 97414 76476 or visit our website www.cadabamshospitals.com