What is a TMS machine?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a medical technology that delivers magnetic therapy to the brain. It’s been approved in numerous countries as a treatment for depression, particularly in patients who haven’t responded to antidepressants. TMS operates on the principle of electromagnetic induction, where an electric current produces a magnetic field. This field then induces an electric current in nearby conductors, such as human tissue, allowing it to penetrate the skin, skull, and cerebrospinal fluid with ease. Key components of a TMS machine include specialized coils made of closed electromagnets that generate the requisite pulsed magnetic field.

What is the best TMS machine?​

While various TMS brands exist, it’s crucial to identify those meeting established standards. Genuine TMS machines require a stimulation intensity of at least 1 Tesla to detect the motor threshold of the cerebral cortex effectively. An essential feature of these machines is a robust cooling system to prevent overheating during prolonged use. Brain Ultimate offers two efficient cooling methods – air and liquid systems. Recognized for its quality, user-friendly design, and safety features, YINGCHI TMS has received extensive positive feedback, positioning it as a leader in the global TMS market.

How much does a TMS machine cost?

TMS offers a non-invasive, environmentally-friendly treatment. It can stimulate not only the brain but also peripheral nerves and muscles. Used to treat various mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, and PTSD, the cost of a TMS machine can vary based on brand, stimulation mode, and cooling method. On average, prices hover around tens of thousands of dollars.

What are the different brands of TMS machines?

TMS technology uses pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate neurons, impacting brain metabolism and neuronal excitability. This treatment has been in clinical use for over 40 years and offers fewer side effects than traditional medications. As performance, cooling methods, applications, and prices vary among brands, it’s important for customers to choose a device that fits their needs. YINGCHI, with its cutting-edge performance, diverse configurations, and user-friendly software, stands out as a cost-effective and globally recognized TMS brand.

Why does rTMS work?

rTMS has been proven to influence neuronal activity in mood-regulating brain regions, such as the prefrontal cortex. Each magnetic pulse, when passed through the skull into the brain, briefly activates the underlying brain cells. The pulse frequency can either augment or reduce brain activity after an rTMS session. Current research indicates that stimulating the left and right brain hemispheres can have contrasting effects on mood regulation.

What transpires during an rTMS procedure?

rTMS relies on magnetic pulses. Hence, patients are requested to remove magnetic-sensitive items like jewelry or credit cards before treatment. To safeguard their hearing and ensure comfort, patients must wear earplugs due to the loud clicking noise the rTMS produces, similar to an MRI machine’s sound. Patients remain seated throughout the procedure.

During the inaugural session, various measurements ensure the TMS coil’s accurate positioning. Once positioned, the physician gauges the patient’s motor threshold using brief pulses. This threshold, the minimal power needed to induce a thumb twitch, is unique to each individual. This measurement enables the physician to customize the treatment settings. After determining the motor threshold, the coil is moved above the patient’s frontal brain region to commence treatment. Patients might feel a tapping sensation and hear clicking sounds. The motor threshold is occasionally reassessed, especially if factors like medication change are introduced.

How extensive is an rTMS procedure?

rTMS therapy comprises multiple sessions. Each session’s duration can vary based on the TMS coil and the number of pulses, typically lasting 30 – 40 minutes. Sessions are conducted five days a week, with the standard course spanning 4 to 6 weeks. However, this might differ based on individual responses.

Is hospitalization required for rTMS?

rTMS doesn’t necessitate sedation or anesthesia. Patients remain conscious throughout the treatment. Post-procedure, they can drive themselves home and resume their daily activities without any downtime.

Are there side-effects of rTMS?

Though rTMS is generally well-tolerated, some side-effects exist. Around half of the patients might experience headaches, which usually lessen over time and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Some might feel scalp discomfort or facial twitching, which typically wane across treatments. Adjustments can be made immediately to alleviate these discomforts.

Due to the rTMS machine’s loudness, earplugs are provided, though a few might still report transient hearing issues post-treatment. However, there’s no evidence of permanent effects if earplugs are utilized.

rTMS lacks many antidepressant-induced side-effects, like gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, weight gain, or sedation. Seizures, though a severe risk, are extremely rare. Institutions like Johns Hopkins adhere to modern safety guidelines to mitigate seizure risks. As rTMS is a relatively novel treatment, unforeseen risks may emerge.

Who is ineligible for rTMS therapy?

Patients with non-removable metal implants in their heads, excluding dental fillings or braces, should abstain from rTMS. Overlooking this could lead to severe injuries due to metal overheating, dislocation, or malfunction.

Metal implants contraindicating rTMS include:

  • Aneurysm clips or coils
  • Neck or brain stents
  • Deep brain stimulators
  • Brain activity monitoring electrodes
  • Metallic implants in ears and eyes
  • Head shrapnel or bullet fragments
  • Metallic or magnetic-sensitive ink in facial tattoos
  • Any other metal devices or objects implanted near the head