What is rTMS/TMS?
rTMS (also called TMS) stands for “repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation”. It is a newly approved treatment for depression which involves applying a magnetic field to a specific surface of the brain to create small electrical currents. Studies have clearly shown that rTMS is an effective treatment for patients with depression, and it is approved for the treatment of treatment resistant Major Depression by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
The treatment is non-invasive and does not involve anaesthetic, seizure induction or loss of consciousness. The patient is completely alert during the procedure and is free to leave the clinic and continue their day following their treatment. When appropriate procedures are followed for patient selection and treatment, there are minimal risks with rTMS and any side effects are usually mild, transient and/or can be easily managed.
The treatment sessions, once commenced, generally take between 20 to 45 minutes (depending on the protocol used). A course of TMS treatment will usually take place five days (weekdays) a week for four to six weeks.