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Q. What is  rTMS ?

Ans – rTMS refers to Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective,  non-invasive and relatively painless technique which uses magnetic stimulation to stimulate areas of the brain and help in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. . 

Q. What is the mechanism of rTMS ?

Ans –  In this technique, rTMS uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain. An electromagnetic coil is placed near the head which produces electrical currents in the nerve cells. This electrical current stimulates the brain cells which can lead to changes in the functions of different areas of the brain.

rTMS does not require hospitalization, sedation or general anesthesia, clients are wide awake and conscious during the treatment.

Q. In what psychiatric conditions rTMS is used?

Ans –  rTMS is a FDA approved treatment method which has the ability to selectively regulate activities in brain areas involved in various psychiatric disorders.

The therapeutic effects of rTMS have been robust in the field of depression. rTMS is used to treat depression and can be offered along with medications.

It can be used for the treatment of OCD as an adjunct to medications.

Studies have also revealed the potential anticraving effects of rTMS in substance dependence.

rTMS can be used to  reduce auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia. 

rTMS has also been suggested for the treatment of certain neuropsychiatric disorders like epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.  

Q. Is rTMS safe? What are the side effects of rTMS?

Ans – Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is considered a safe and effective treatment, with minimal risk of serious side effects.

Common side effects include headache, scalp discomfort and facial muscle twitching. These side effects are mild and generally resolve soon after a treatment session. The side effects usually reduce in intensity and frequency as the course of treatment progresses.

Serious side effects are rare. They can include:  seizures, fainting spells, manic episodes (especially for people with bipolar disorder).