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Neurostimulation - rTMS

“rTMS treatment is non-invasive, painless, safe.”
“rTMS is non medication treatment for many psychiatric conditions.”
“intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is a technique used in rTMS which optimise therapeutic efficacy.”

Neurostimulation is the purposeful modulation of the brain cell’s activity.

rTMS is a non-invasive treatment for treatment resistant depression. Therapeutic Good s Administration (TGA) guidelines endorsed rTMS as a proven effective treatment for patients with treatment resistance. i.e. patients who have not responded to therapeutic doses of two or more antidepressant medication. It is also recommended for many other psychiatric conditions.

At Mind Connections rTMS is delivered with advanced intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) technique. Therapeutic efficacy is enhanced by optimised intensities and shorter intervals in contrast to what is provided by conventional rTMS machines.

Invented in 1985, rTMS continues to be an expensive treatment due to the exorbitant cost of the machine and maintenance costs.

The duration of effects of rTMS treatment can vary from patient to patient. Some patients may have a lasting result, but some others may experience short-term clinical improvement. Patients who have short term improvement may benefit from repeat courses of treatment and/or maintenance treatment.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Overseas model shown

FAQ answers for rTMS

  • Repetitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to target and stimulate brain’s nerve cells (neurones). rTMS stimulates neurons in the prefrontal cortex.
  • A treatment coil is applied against your scalp near your forehead.
  • The magnetic fields created activate neurones and produce very small electrical currents. The electrical currents activate cells within the brain, which are thought to release neurochemicals involved in healing.
  • Patients who is well informed about the procedure who makes an informed decision consenting to treatment, particularly if previous treatment modalities (such as different medications and psychological therapies) failed to provide relief from symptoms.
  • rTMS use to treat anxiety when other types of treatments have failed indicating treatment resistance. rTMS many not cause remission but it can reduce your symptom severity. That means improved quality of life for you.
  • The FDA approved rTMS for OCD.
  • The FDA approved rTMS for treatment resistant depression.
  • Research suggests rTMS could trigger slow sleep waves. As a result patients may experience a better night’s rest.
  • Specialists have started using rTMS treatment for the addiction disorders particularly when people develop depressed mood with withdrawal symptoms.
  • According to research, rTMS can be effective in improving the cognitive abilities of patients with early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s Dementia. However, the positive effects of rTMS may persist for only up to few weeks.
  • Available data suggests that risk from rTMS treatment is minimal for children and generally are similar to adults.
  • On the day of your treatment, bring your headphones and favourite music to listen during the session.
  • A bottle of water.
  • rTMS does not require sedation or anaesthesia therefore no need for fasting.
  • Remove any accessories that react to magnetism or are magnetic themselves. TMS may affect credit cards.
  • The staff can give you earplugs to wear during the procedure. 
  • A psychiatrist with expertise in rTMS performs a complete and thorough psychiatric evaluation of each patient prior to treatment.
  • Before treatment begins, your psychiatrist needs to identify the best place to put the magnets on your head and the best dose of magnetic energy for you. Your first appointment typically lasts about 60 minutes.
  • Patients are monitored during every treatment session.
  • Treatment sessions vary in length and typically lasts between 10 – 40 minutes. Patients receive rTMS x 3 – 5 days a week, x 4 – 6 weeks. The number of sessions but may vary depending on an individual’s response to treatment.
  • Although TMS machine does not touch patient’s head patients report a tapping sensation on the scalp. Some may report slight twitching around the eye and/or facial muscles during treatment. These symptoms only lasts for the duration of the treatment.
  • Compared to most antidepressants, which usually take about six weeks to show results, most patients report positive changes in mood with rTMS as early as the first week of treatment.
  • The results varies from patient to patient. Some patient’s remission may last a year or more. Some may require intermittent maintenance treatments four – six weekly.
  • When you experience positive emotion you will return to your normal personality. Generally when patients are happy with their emotions they functions better.
  • rTMS does not lead to memory impairment. Generally patients their ability to think improves with simultaneous improvement of role functioning.
  • Headache – some patients reports a headache post rTMS and generally relived by two tablets of Panadol.
  • Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation.
  • Tingling, spasms or twitching of facial muscles.
  • Light-headedness.
  • You can go home after rTMS session. You can drive and you can return to work after the procedure.
  • If you are prone to headaches you may arrange someone to drive you.