Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: How It Works, Preparation, Procedures, and Diseases That Can Be Treated – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is one of the neurophysiology tools that can be used in assisting the diagnosis of nervous disorders as well as used in the therapy / treatment of nervous disorders, both impaired central nerve function and peripheral nerves.

Diseases that can be treated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

TMS is used in the therapy of Stroke, Post Stroke Rehabilitation, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic brain and nerves, neuropathy, dystonia, chronic low back pain, including Low Back Pain, balance disorders, language disorders (difficulty speaking), Tinnitus (ringing ears), Pain Treatment, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Anxiety disorders such as OCD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Chronic pain, Nicotine addiction, and Depression.

How Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation works?

This is by providing stimulation to the brain nerve cells so that the brain cells that are disturbed can work back better. TMS is useful in increasing the activity of cells that are not so active through increased work of neurotransmitters, which are a sending agent in the pathways of nerve cells. TMS therapy is done by providing low-frequency or high-frequency electromagnetic waves to provide inhibition/resistance to overactive nerves or activate underactive cells.

TMS is an advanced therapy.

TMS is an advanced therapy, not a substitute for drugs in the management of nervous disorders. Patients with nervous system disorder are still given treatment, according to standards after which TMS therapy can be given to support or speed up the healing process.

Preparation Before TMS Therapy

There are several procedures that need to be done before using TMS, including clinical examination, supporting examination (EEG, MEP, CT scans of the head / MRI), examination of the sublime cortical function, the presence of a history of seizures, the presence of metal / implants in the brain. And it’s necessary to sign informed consent.

In patients with a history of seizures or epilepsy, an EEG (Electro Encephalography) examination is performed to find out how the brain’s electrical activity, whether normal or abnormal. One of the abnormalities is the presence of an epileptiform focus. The technique used uses low frequencies, so that there can be an inhibitory effect on nerve cells that are already very active.

TMS should not be done in people who have metal (ferromagnetic) objects in their brain, because the magnetic field caused by this device can trigger heat, which will actually cause damage to nerve cells. In patients who use braces, it is still possible.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation procedure

Basic procedure

The basic procedures usually followed in the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation are approximately as follows. Before treatment, a visit to the doctor should be made to ensure that the patient does not show any type of pathology or element contraindicated for this technique.

Regarding the application itself, first of all, after entering the room, the patient will be given some kind of barrier element such as earplugs so as to protect his ears. Previously, it is best or advisable to explain to the patient what will happen during the session, and it may be necessary to reassure the patient (without the use of anesthesia or sedatives).

Next, a coil with an electromagnet is placed on the scalp, placing it in the area to be stimulated. It could be that in addition to one, there are two or more elements to be placed, depending on how the stimulation is carried out. Brain mapping will be done, introducing a short pulse to observe and discover areas of the brain and its bioelectric function. You may notice some sensations and sounds in this phase.

After that, the doctor will proceed to turn on the coil and gradually regulate the intensity of the stimulation, increasing it to the motor threshold (generally until the fingers contract). Once it reaches it, eventually, the magnetic field will be allowed to pass for a period of time that varies depending on each case. These sessions can vary in number and time, with about ten sessions becoming a habit.


Last Updated on March 1, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team