What is rTMS?
TMS stands for “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.” When the pulses are given in succession, it is referred to as “repetitive TMS” or “rTMS.” TMS is a medical procedure that works by delivering highly focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses to noninvasively (without surgery) stimulate the brain. The TMS treatment session is conducted using a small hand held device called a “treatment coil” that delivers energy to the brain using pulsed “magnetic fields.” These magnetic fields are similar to those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Patients being treated with TMS do not require anesthesia or sedation. They remain awake and alert and return to work or their daily routine immediately after each treatment.
To receive rTMS, a doctor or technician will first place the treatment coil on your head. You may hear a repetitive clicking sound and possibly feel a tapping sensation on your scalp. The stimulator will be adjusted to give just enough energy to send electromagnetic pulses through your scalp to make your fingers twitch. The amount of energy required to make your thumb twitch half the time is called the “motor threshold.” Everyone has a different motor threshold and the treatments are given at an energy level that is based on the individual’s motor threshold. Once these technical settings are decided, you will have the rTMS positioned over the right side of your head. You will then receive a treatment that will last about 30-40 minutes. Once your rTMS session is completed, you will immediately begin your therapy session.
VA TMS information http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20120712a.asp
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