Depression is a treatable condition, but sometimes standard treatments aren't effective. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be used when standard treatments such as medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy) don't work.
How it works
How TMS helps relieve depression isn't completely understood. It's thought that magnetic pulses stimulate nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control. This stimulation appears to affect how this part of the brain is working, which in turn seems to ease depression symptoms and improve mood.
Feb. 04, 2015
- Brain stimulation therapies. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/brain-stimulation-therapies/brain-stimulation-therapies.shtml. Accessed Oct. 18, 2012.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.
- Holtzheimer PE. Unipolar depression in adults: Treatment with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 22, 2012.
- Rasmussen KG. Some considerations in choosing electroconvulsive therapy versus transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression. Journal of ECT. 2011;27:51.
- Cusin C, et al. Somatic therapies for treatment-resistant depression: ECT, TMS, VNS, DBS. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders. 2012;2:14.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS or rTMS). National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Transcranial_Magnetic_Stimulation_(rTMS).htm. Accessed Oct. 24, 2012.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 1, 2012.