Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is advertised as a non invasive, secure procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate brain nerve cells in order to work against depression and help general mental well being and functioning. According to the manufacturer, the procedure is painless and is effective where other depression treatments or remedies have failed.
The procedure uses an electromagnet. It creates electric currents that stimulate nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in mood control responsible for triggering depression.
Mayo Clinic is one of the medical facilities that performs this procedure. The company is a nonprofit medical care supplier and medical research group located in Rochester, Minnesota, U.S.A. It specializes in treating difficult cases and has a reputation for being one of the best medical practices in the U.S.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Ingredients
Using depolarization or hyper-polarization in the neurons of the brain, the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation causes activity in specific or general parts of the brain that are related to mood control. The procedure is supposed to cause minimal discomfort.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is considered a safe procedure, with severe but rare side effects including seizures and syncope. Less severe side effects may include: fainting, headache or local discomfort, psychiatric symptoms (particularly a low risk of mania in depressed patients), and minor cognitive changes.
The effectiveness of the procedure has not been systematically proven. The manufacturer mentions some research studies which have returned opposite results: some showed the procedure works against depression while others showed it did not seem to help in alleviating symptoms.
According to the manufacturer, the procedure may be less likely to work if the patient’s illness has caused detachment from reality (psychosis) or if the depression has lasted for four or more year.
- Excellent reputation of the clinic performing the procedure
- The practice is advertised as a non-invasive, safe and pain-free procedure
- Not enough research is available regarding the effectiveness of this procedure
- Potentially ineffective for some categories of patients
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation may be considered a new practice in the fight against depression. The procedure is therefore not sufficiently researched, and the full spectrum of its implications (side-effects, interactions, precautions, etc.) is not completely determined. For instance, it was not established if Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation can be used in the long term treatment of depression, or whether periodic maintenance treatments are required to prevent symptoms from returning.
In this regard, it is of utmost importance to seek specialized advice prior to deciding starting treatment, so as to understand and weight both strengths and weaknesses of the procedure.