Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

People who suffer from depression, which is unhealthy for your body as well as your mind and memory, usually are prescribed antidepressants or electroshock therapy. Recently, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has become an option for those who are not able find relief elsewhere.

TMS is also known as magnet therapy, magnetic stimulation, neuropsychology, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). It was developed by neuroscientists in order to study the brain, or for brain mapping, and in the late 1980s was used for treatment of depression. Doctors have expanded its use to patients of Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mood disorders.

In magnetic therapy, doctors use magnets to provide health benefits. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is a more specialized form of magnet therapy. With rTMS coils are used, rather than magnets, to produce an electrical current.   The coil is used specifically on the scalp, where magnets generally are applied to any part of the body affected by a specific ailment.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure and does not require anesthesia. The electrical activity stimulates the cortex (surface) of the brain by generating brief pulses of current through the coil wires placed on the scalp. There are usually no side effects, but if any, have been limited to headaches or unwanted noise. These are easily taken care of with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and earplugs.

Because depression is believed to center in the frontal cortex of the brain, the device is held close to the scalp allowing for the non-invasive bursts of electrical current to the neurons. Scientists believe this will lower the activity of beta-adrenergic receptors and increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin secreted in the brain. These two chemicals give the brain a “feel good” reactions.

Random control trials have proven rTMS to be effective for treating patients diagnosed with deep or clinical depression and who seem to be resilient to other forms of treatment. This has been found to work on adolescent patients as well as adults, and is encouraging as a safe method of treatment with little side effects — unlike medications and shock therapy.

Neuroscientists are currently looking into utilizing rTMS in other areas of the body.

 Memory Training

About the author:

Ron White is a two-time USA Memory Champion and memoryexpert. As a memory speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.


AARP — Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation:

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