What is the Difference Between TMS and Deep TMS?

Over the years, researchers have crafted many different techniques to stimulate areas of the brain thought to be involved in mood regulation and brain disorders. The theory behind this is that some brain disorders are caused by an underactivity or overactivity of neurons in certain brain structures. By manipulating these centers, researchers hope to stabilize brain activity, bringing relief to those who suffer with mood disorders and neurological conditions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep transcranial magnetic stimulation are among two of the most recent procedure that help researchers reach this goal. TMS and Deep TMS share a common ground, but differ in a significant way.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was created before the rise of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS, deep TMS). The technique uses a circular set of coils imbedded in a helmet to stimulate areas of the brain. However, because of the shape, the electromagnetic waves are only partially able to penetrate the brain. This results in superficial stimulation, not useful for the treatment of a number of ailments. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is used mainly for the treatment of migraines. Other coils, such as the figure-8 coil, were designed to try and circumvent this issue, with only limited success. In order for TMS waves to stimulate centers deep within the brain, the intensity would have to be turned up so high that it would no longer be safe for human use.

transcranial magnetic stimulationOn the other hand, deep TMS is a newer procedure that uses what is known as an “H-coil’, or Hesed coil, explains The National Institute of Health. Due to the placement of the coils, dTMS is able to penetrate the brain better than its predecessor. Both procedures are useful in their own right (they are both approved by the FDA), but dTMS is more useful for the treatment of those suffering with major depression and other mood disorders.

In fact, after a double-blind study regarding the use of deep TMS for the treatment of medication-resistant major depression symptoms, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the treatment as a viable therapy for the mood disorder. Additionally, deep TMS has proven to be useful in the management of bipolar symptoms, as well as obsessive-compulsive symptoms.  According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnological Innovation’s website, participants who received 20 consecutive days of dTMS, followed by one bi-weekly treatment for the following three months ,experienced symptom severity reduction at a statistically significant rate. Progress was maintained over a period of six months; as well, DTMS has proven to be a good treatment for OCD symptoms, when other methods of management fail to work. Studies indicate that 42% of individuals with OCD who received deep TMS reported a notable decrease in symptoms, states Brainsway

The Clinical TMS Society says that the side effects from deep TMS and TMS are comparable, and complications in both circumstances are extremely rare. Side effects include headaches and pain at the sites where the coils made contact with the skin. The majority of people tolerate both procedures very well.

TMS and deep TMS are both used to stimulate various brain centers. They differ in that the former, because of its design, can only penetrate the brain at superficial levels. It is useful for the treatment of migraine headaches, but does not show much promise for alleviating other brain disorders. This is the reason that dTMS was invented, as the new technology allows for better, deeper stimulation of parts of the brain involved in mood regulation and brain processes.

Westside Neurotherapeutics offers dTMS treatments Los Angeles. For more information, contact them by phone at 310.946.0008 or visit us online at www.westsideneurotherapeutics.com.

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