Since transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was shown to be successful in treating major depressive disorder in the 1980s, other therapy modifications have emerged. To have a thorough understanding of their treatment options, patients must comprehend these distinctions.
To identify the optimal treatment for their needs, patients should examine the various TMS options with their TMS psychiatrist.
Are all TMS procedures equivalent?
The magnetic pulse rate or the type of equipment utilised may be different among the many forms of TMS.
A TMS provider will describe the kind of therapy performed and how it might benefit you.
In terms of pulse rate, the first group of TMS treatments varies:
Every few seconds, one pulse is delivered steadily.
TMS with paired pulses:
Two pulses are delivered simultaneously. Depending on the desired outcomes for each patient, these pulses can either target one cerebral hemisphere or both.
The most popular form of TMS therapy is probably repetitive TMS (rTMS). Multiple pulses are given simultaneously at various frequencies to achieve various goals. The brain is stimulated or inhibited when there are fewer pulses than when there are more pulses. The pulse rate is determined by the unique conditions of each patient. The lowest amount of magnetic energy necessary to activate muscle fibres and cause the thumb to twitch is used to measure the patient’s motor threshold in order to establish the ideal pace. There is no distinction between TMS and rTMS; the two acronyms are typically used synonymously.
Stimulation with theta waves TMS vs. TBS:
Time is the main factor that distinguishes TMS from TBS. TBS takes about one to three minutes as opposed to a regular TMS treatment session, which can last up to 45 minutes. That’s because TBS transmits magnetic pulses at a frequency similar to brainwaves, but at a considerably faster rate. This TMS variant, which was approved by the FDA in 2018, is frequently referred to as express or expedited TMS.
Then there are two additional TMS variations that employ technology that is distinct from normal TMS.
Deep TMS (dTMS):
Deep TMS treatment uses a particular kind of machine with a different coil than rTMS, hence the name. The dTMS device manufacturer asserts that the coil enables the magnetic pulses to penetrate deeper into the brain (about 4cm in, compared to about 1.5 with rTMS). But when it comes to pulse rate, dTMS and rTMS are comparable in that they send a number of pulses at once.
Functional MRI or Neuro-navigated TMS (fMRI TMS):
While TMS is being administered, a neuroimaging instrument such as an MRI monitors brain activity for a real-time evaluation of brain function. The ideal placement of the coils on the brain can also be determined using the MRI.
Read more on the science of TMS.