Is rTMS safe?
Is it safe?
TMS has a very low level of side effects. Studies indicate that less than 5% of patients decide to discontinue therapy due to side effects. Any side effects that patients might experience typically subside shortly after treatment and decrease over consecutive treatments.
As TMS targets very specific regions of the brain, it is generally very well tolerated, and considered to be a very safe form of treatment. Reported side effects may include:
Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation
Twitching of scalp muscles
Approximately 10% report mild scalp discomfort but this is alleviated with paracetamol and typically subsides not long after treatment.
Typically some notice a light tapping sensation during the treatment and the magnetics may case some facial muscles to twitch, but this also stops immediately once treatment is stopped or completed.
Due to its ability to target specific regions of the brain without modulating anything in the rest of the body there are no contraindications for treatment during pregnancy and therefore provides a very good alternative to medication if someone is depressed and pregnant.
How is TMS Different to ECT?
Despite being indicated as being as effective if not more beneficial for treating depression as Electroconvulsive therapy, it does not induce any of the negative side effects. Electroconvulsive therapy. Because TMS does not create an electrical current it does not induce seizures, patients do not need anaesthesia for the procedure and there is no impairment in memory or brain function. In fact TMS is so well tolerated you can read a book or have a treatment in conjunction with psychotherapy. That’s because TMS generates blood flow to the areas to regain brain function of areas that may have poor circulation due to a variety of environmental or genetic predispositions.