Recently, a new therapeutic technology known as deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS) has been put on the market. It is a brain therapy, in which magnetic fields are used to manipulate activity at the cellular level. By doing this, imbalances in cellular activity can be rectified, thereby eliminating unwanted symptoms. Deep TMS is used for treating illnesses such as depression and nicotine dependence, though it may be used for managing other conditions, as well. Due to its relative newness, and the fact that the therapy impacts such a critical organ, some may question the safety of deep TMS. This article will outline the deep TMS procedure, and assess its safety profile.
Is Los Angeles Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Safe?
To receive deep TMS, patients are required to wear a helmet filled with electric coils; the helmet is insulated for comfort. Prior to administration, several measurements are taken to ensure that the fit of the helmet is optimal. After this, a patient’s motor response threshold is determined. This is the lowest frequency of deep TMS that is required to provoke a physical response (thumb twitch). From here, the intensity of the magnetic pulses can be tailored on a person-by-person basis. The machinery also has a cooling mechanism installed, as to control any heat that may result throughout treatment. People may hear a tapping sound accompanied by a similar sensation during deep TMS. It is for this reason that all patients receiving this treatment must wear earplugs for the entirety of the process. People remain comfortably seated for the duration of treatment.
Despite such safety features, people may still experience slight discomfort as a result of deep TMS. An analysis by Brainsway, the creator of the deep transcranial magnetic stimulation technology, found that 25% of subjects experienced pain at the application site (the place where the coils meet the skin). In the same assessment, jaw pain was reported by 10.2% of people, and 47% had headaches during deep TMS. On rare occasions, individuals have had severe negative reactions to deep TMS therapy. To date, there have been over 4,000 courses of deep TMS completed. Of this, there have been six reported cases of seizure during (or shortly following) deep TMS, says Clinical TMS Society. In each case, subjects had additional risk factors (history of epilepsy, high dosage of interfering medication in the body, etc.) that increased the likelihood of this happening. Deep TMS is non-invasive, meaning that no surgery is required. As such, no anesthesia is necessary. People can return to normal life directly after the procedure. As the entire process is performed externally, there is no risk of infection or healing complications.
There are certain people who should not undergo deep transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy. Particularly, those who have non-removable implants that contain metal that are located within 12 inches of the head should not have deep TMS. This includes those with aneurysm clips, pacemakers, and stents in the neck or back. Those who choose to have the treatment regardless of having such implants face the risk of injury or death, as metallic objects may move, get hot, or stop working properly. Those with braces or metallic fillings can still safely receive deep TMS treatment.
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation is a technique that is used to help regulate cellular activity within the brain. Despite its novelty, research suggests that the majority of people tolerate the treatment very well. Some side effects are common, but tend to dissipate rather quickly (i.e. headaches, pain at the application site, etc.). Under certain circumstances, people have been reported to have more serious reactions to deep TMS, though extenuating factors were always present.
Westside Neurotherapeutics offers dTMS treatments Los Angeles for depression and smoking cessation. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or visit us online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.