While looking at TMS devices, it is helpful to understand what TMS is. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an innovative therapy that targets the electromagnetic waves in the brain. In doing so, the nerve cells in the brain are activated via theta-burst stimulation (TBS) and connections within the nervous system. The most promising thing about transcranial magnetic stimulation is that it can be used for patients who do not respond to typical treatments, providing another means for the reduction of symptoms. The process of TMS therapy includes:1
During preliminary examinations, doctors will take an EEG evaluation, which measures the activity in the brain. In doing this procedure, doctors can note the differences before and after treatment to test its effectiveness.
Using an electric coil on the forehead, brain stimulation is activated when the TMS device is connected, sending waves through the brain that will stimulate the nervous system.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a therapy where waves are sent to specific parts of the brain repetitively. TMS for addiction is effective with deep rTMS, targeting the parts of the brain typically associated with addiction.
Findings show that patients with structural issues within their brain have greatly improved with help from TMS devices.
As mentioned, there are several TMS devices approved for use by the FDA. Each TMS machine works the same but has a different look and may be more effective at treating different disorders. Below, we have a look at several different TMS devices and how they are typically used.
One of the most eye-catching TMS devices is the Apollo. It has a bright blue modern color and modern design that is meant to seat patients comfortably. There is full neck and head support and an easy-to-operate computer attached to it that makes it easy for both the technician and the patient. Many offices are turning to the Apollo TMS device, as it has a great warranty, it’s easy to use, and it looks super sharp.
One of the most lightweight TMS devices is the CloudTMS. It’s 100% portable and works with the help of a laptop computer. It’s been a tried and tested TMS for addiction and shown to be highly effective against the symptoms of depression. The CloudTMS is available in the US and across the globe, making a name for itself after several reports of successful treatments.
Nexstim is among one of the most compact designs offered for TMS treatment. Said to help with depression, anxiety, and even brain surgery, this little device has proved effective and is moveable around the head to target certain areas. The part of the device that rests on the forehead is small, light, and does not create any pressure on the patient’s head, something that makes it very desirable.
Magstim is another brand that comes with a comfortable chair included, one that has neck and head support to keep patients comfortable. There is added cooling for a soothing effect. Additionally, the system has proved to be effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. The chair is designed for patients to come in and sit back while they get their treatment. All parts of it are fully adjustable so that each patient can find their most comfortable setting.
BrainsWay Deep is a non-invasive TMS device that’s proven effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is created with a design that sits on top of the patient’s head, delivering electromagnetic pulses. This device is extremely effective for those that have tried other treatments and failed, as this device is designed to penetrate deep.3
NeuroStar TMS is an express TMS Treatment that patients can come in and do at their convenience. Said to target the part of the nervous system responsible for depression and anxiety, this treatment is not only FDA approved but is also covered by most insurance plans.3
Most TMS devices have an attached coil but, the MagVenture comes with a comfortable cap that fits right over the patient’s head. The company has been involved in lots of research, where they have been deemed both effective and safe.3
A typical TMS treatment lasts anywhere from twenty to forty minutes. The most effective form of treatment is to set up a course, which lasts about four to six weeks. In that time, patients are asked to have a treatment five days a week, analyzing the results after the course.
To prepare, patients will have to undergo a few preliminary examinations including a physical exam and a psychiatric evaluation. After analysis of both, your doctor will decide the course that’s right for you and your symptoms.
The TMS machine is operated by a certified technician. Your physician will also be in the room, supervising and making sure that everything runs smoothly.
TMS scans are non-invasive and are used to send electromagnetic waves into the brain. One of the main uses for TMS devices is for those that suffer from symptoms of depression that have tried treatments that have not been effective. It is these waves that start to stimulate the brain and promote new healthy connections along the way. There are different kinds of treatments and courses, all of which depend on the individual’s needs.5
rTMS is essentially the same as TMS, it’s just the repetition of these pulses. rTMS works with the help of a coil that’s placed on the region of the brain that is to be treated. Normally, rTMS targets these nerves and sends repetitive pulses to that region during a session. When it comes to TMS scans, there are all kinds of ways that they can be administered, leaving it up to the doctor to decide what will be the most effective.5
While TMS treatment has been tried, tested, and listed as safe, there are a few people that cannot or should not get the treatment. Those looking into TMS devices or TMS for addiction should reconsider if they have any of the following.