Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Overview
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a form of electromagnetic therapy that involves the use of a powerful magnetic field generator that is placed near the patient’s skull to stimulate brain activity. This treatment is not meant to be performed at home and is often used to treat depression. The magnetic field generated by the device is up to 20,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, and it is converted to electrochemical energy that excites neurons in the brain. The FDA has approved TMS for use in patients with treatment-resistant depression, but it is also being used to treat other conditions like PTSD, schizophrenia, migraines, stroke, and TBI.
TMS Significantly Decreases Post-Concussion Symptoms
There have been several case studies published about the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI) with positive results. In a recent study of 12 patients with mild TBI and post-concussion symptoms, TMS was administered five days per week for four weeks. After completion of all TMS sessions, researchers noted a statistically significant decrease in symptom severity scores, with an average decline of 14.6 points. Headache symptom ratings showed a reliable decrease, and severity scores for fatigue, trouble falling asleep, and memory difficulties also decreased.
TMS is generally considered safe, but there are some potential side effects and risks to be aware of. Common side effects include mild headache, scalp tingling or numbness, lightheadedness, and facial twitching. Hearing loss is also possible due to the loud clicking sounds generated by the magnetic pulses. More serious side effects, such as mania or seizures, are rare but can occur. It’s important to note that TMS may not be suitable for individuals with metal fragments in their body or certain implanted medical devices.
TMS therapy is administered by a healthcare provider in a clinical setting, and a typical session can last between 40 minutes to an hour. Multiple treatments over several weeks or months may be necessary. The cost of each session can range from $150 to $200, and a full course of treatment usually includes 10 to 20 sessions.