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Prof. Dr. Cengiz BAHADIR


What is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?

Trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a new method of diagnosis and treatment for stimulating the brain cells with magnetic current. This method includes delivering magnetic current into specific parts of the brain. This is performed with the use of special devices named magnetic coils. This is not an invasive method. Meaning, there is no signficant intervention or contact with the patient. This procedure includes external administration of stimulations upon the approximation of magnetic coil to the certain sites of the brain. During this procedure, the patient is given magnetic stimulation on disorder-specific frequencies.

Is TMS Therapy painful?

TMS therapy is not a painful therapy method. The patient does not feel pain during the application.

How many times is it applied?

TMS therapy should be applied for at least 10 sessions but the number depends on the disorders. For some disorders, the therapy can take a couple of months at intervals. The sessions usually take approximately 20 minutes.

Are there any side effects of TMS?

TMS therapy includes near zero side effects. The patients may experience headache and neck pain. There have been some cases of temporary epileptiform seizures reported. However, these are very rare cases and occurred upon high frequency stimulations mostly exploratory and not used as part of the routine treatment procedure.

The disorders for which TMS is used

TMS is an FDA approved treatment choice for drug resistant depression covered by insurance agencies in USA. Also, its efficacy on some symtomps of Parkinson disease, hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body), tinnutus, speech disorders due to paralysis (aphasia), paraplegia pain has been scientifically established. The efficacy on ataxia, fibromyalgia, dystonia (writer’s cramp), spasmodic torticollis, multiple sclerosis and many incurable brain disorders is under research with mainly positive results. It is possible that TMS therapy for these disorders will be covered by insurance.
To this day, the general practice has been to administer medication therapy for brain disorders. With the advancement of TMS therapy, we are now enabled to directly treat the neurons comprising the brain. The studies conducted with advanced brain mapping techniques and functional MRI have shown that TMS is a promising treatment method for many incurable brain disorders.