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What is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)?

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While electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) uses an electric current to induce seizures, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) creates a magnetic field to induce a much smaller electric current in a specific part of the brain without causing seizure or loss of consciousness. The current is caused by the magnetic field created by an electromagnetic coil that delivers the pulse+K191s through the forehead.

Approved by the FDA in 2008 for treatment-resistant depression, TMS works best in patients who have failed to benefit from one -- but not two or more -- antidepressant treatments. Also, unlike ECT, TMS does not require sedation and is administered on an outpatient basis. Patients undergoing TMS must be treated four or five times a week for four to six weeks.

Research has shown that TMS produces few side effects and is both safe and effective for medication-resistant depression. However, it doesn't seem to be as effective as ECT.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: "What is Depression?" ''Brain Stimulation Therapies.''

FDA: "The Lowdown on Depression."

American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression

American Psychiatric Association. . Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5

Fieve, R, MD. Rodale Books, 2006. Bipolar II,

Connelly, KR. , April 2012. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Carpenter, LL. , July 2012. Depression and anxiety

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 8, 2017

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: "What is Depression?" ''Brain Stimulation Therapies.''

FDA: "The Lowdown on Depression."

American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major Depression

American Psychiatric Association. . Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5

Fieve, R, MD. Rodale Books, 2006. Bipolar II,

Connelly, KR. , April 2012. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Carpenter, LL. , July 2012. Depression and anxiety

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 8, 2017

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