rTRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (RTMS)
rTMS treatment has been approved by NICE (2015) in the UK as a safe form of treatment for depression. The treatment is non-invasive. It does not involve surgery or any medication. rTMS has also been shown in research studies to be an effective treatment for many other conditions. Smart TMS Clinics uses the Magpro System, which has a UK and European Clinical License.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, rTMS – also known as TMS, uses pulsing magnetic fields to activate or suppress the brain centres associated with a number of medical and psychiatric disorders. It was invented in Southampton University in the 1980s and has been the subject of active medical research for a variety of medical and psychiatric conditions ever since. It has been FDA approved in America for depression since 2008 and has been approved in Europe. The rTMS therapy system generates a highly concentrated magnetic field produced by a treatment coil, which turns on and off very rapidly. These magnetic fields are the same type and strength as those produced by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The treatment coil is applied to the area of the brain shown by scans to be most associated with the medical or psychiatric condition being treated. For example the left frontal cortex has been shown to be involved in mood regulation, and therefore this is the location where the magnetic fields are focused when treating depression. The magnetic field does not affect the whole brain like ECT. It only reaches about 2 – 3 centimetres into the brain, directly beneath the treatment coil. As these magnetic fields pulse they produce very small electrical currents. These electrical currents increase or decrease activity in the brain centres associated with the condition being treated.