If you are learning about all of the wonderful benefits of TMS, then you may be curious about how you’ll see the results of TMS therapy. TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is gaining traction as a treatment for several different diseases and disorders. If you are curious about the effects of TMS, and understanding what transcranial magnetic stimulation results mean, read on.
TMS works by using magnetic frequencies targeted at specific portions of the brain. As these magnetic waves are sent towards the brain, they cause electromagnetic induction to take place. When this process happens, the electric activity in the brain is stimulated, often providing desired effects like rejuvenation and a prolonged cortical silent period.1
By providing these factors, signals in the brain are altered in a way that benefits the patient. By targeting specific areas of the brain, as well as using different frequencies, several therapies can be achieved through TMS.
As with any other form of treatment, you want to see results quickly, regardless of what you are being treated for. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions in regards to TMS results.
When you are undergoing TMS therapy, you may see results in as little as two weeks. These are some of the fastest results available to patients who choose to use TMS. In many other instances, results are seen in anywhere from four to five weeks.2 Just because you are not seeing results in a short period, it doesn’t mean that the treatment is ineffective. There are a number of factors that can affect TMS, including:
When looking for real-world results of TMS therapy, evidence can be found in numerous studies. One such example comes from a sample of patients using TMS as a form of therapy for OCD. In the study, patients suffering from OCD saw a reduction of their symptoms after receiving twenty or fewer TMS therapy sessions. Keep in mind, this seems like a long time, but the results of TMS are long-lasting, as well.3
In general, most TMS providers find that the therapy sees a success rate of anywhere from 70% to 80% of all of their patients. Over half see complete remission of their issues as well. You might be wondering how you can tell if the therapy is working. Often, it takes about four weeks to notice any significant changes. However, at about that period, positive effects on behavior will be noticeable.
When comparing TMS to other therapies, you will often see it compared to ECT and antidepressants. When comparing TMS to ECT, or electroconvulsive therapy, short-term results are about the same in terms of the success rate. However, lasting results are rarely seen with ECT treatments. Antidepressants see a far lower success rate, only reaching true success with patients between 50% and 65% of the time.
As with any other medical treatment, it is essential to take a look at the rundown of side effects and risk factors for TMS. It should be mentioned that side effects are fairly uncommon for TMS therapy. However, some of the most common side effects are:
These are among the most common reported side effects. Some of the severe side effects possible include altered cognition during treatment.
For the most part, there are no real side effects to TMS therapy. When it comes to risk factors, the risk for seizures is present, as mentioned before. The risk is low, though, with a 0.1% chance of developing seizures during treatment.
TMS therapy can provide benefits for a large number of disorders. These include the following:4
As you can see, TMS has applications in a large number of different disorders that are based in the brain. As such, it can be used as an alternative, or in addition to, traditional treatments.