Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, dTMS, or deep TMS, is a cutting-edge, non-invasive procedure that holds significant promise for individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, and even smoking addiction.
The quest to understand and optimise brain function has led to the development of several innovative techniques and technologies. Deep TMS is a neuromodulation approach that offers hope and healing for clients who haven’t found success with traditional methods like medication and psychotherapy. In simple terms, neuromodulation directly stimulates the nerves with electrical or chemical agents applied to specific neurological sites.
Deep TMS is a non-surgical, non-invasive technology that treats various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Deep TMS helmets house powerful magnetic coils that stimulate specific regions of the brain without poking or prodding.
This innovative technique has gained significant attention for its potential to revolutionise the field of neuromodulation and transform the treatment landscape for a variety of psychiatric disorders. In this article, we’ll explore the science, applications, mechanisms, and future uses for deep TMS.
Benefits of Deep TMS
Before we get into the science of deep TMS, we’d like to share some of the general characteristics and benefits of dTMS treatment.
Deep TMS Is Non-Invasive
dTMS is non-surgical and does not require anaesthesia. Most clients can return to normal activities after a session – without fear of potential risks and complications associated with invasive procedures.
Deep TMS Clients Experience Minimal Side Effects
Common side effects are generally mild and transient, including scalp discomfort or headache after treatment. These effects usually subside quickly; in most cases, a dTMS technician can adjust treatment to minimise side effects.
Deep TMS Provides Targeted Treatment
dTMS helmets precisely target specific brain regions, allowing for personalised treatment based on each patient’s condition.
Deep TMS Sessions Are Quick
Each session lasts about 20 minutes, making it easy to work daily sessions into your schedule. Treatment plans typically run 5-7 weeks.
Deep TMS Works With Adjunctive Therapy
dTMS can be used alongside other treatments, such as psychotherapy and medication, enhancing the overall effectiveness of treatment plans.
Deep TMS Is Evidence-Based
Deep TMS is FDA-approved for major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), smoking cessation, and anxious depression. It is UKCA-marked and has NICE approval for depression with more conditions in the research phase.
The History and Science Behind Deep TMS
Now that we’ve identified some of the benefits of deep TMS, we can dive into its history and science.
Electromagnetic science research dates back to the 1800s when Michael Faraday created a magnetic field by running electricity through a coil. One hundred years later, in 1985, Anthony Barker and his colleagues began researching what would become the first TMS device. Since then, researchers have refined the technology and documented the many benefits of using TMS to modulate brain activity.
Deep TMS is a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic fields to influence electrical activity within specific regions of the brain. While traditional TMS primarily targets the surface regions of the brain, dTMS is designed to reach deeper brain structures – that’s where the “deep” qualifier comes from.
At APN London, each BrainsWay deep TMS helmet features a specialised coil that delivers magnetic fields to specific regions of the brain related to depression, anxiety, OCD, or smoking addiction. The coils create magnetic pulses that use the natural electrical activity in the brain to stimulate nerve cells and regulate brain activity.
Deep TMS is one of many tools we can use to promote neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise itself in response to experience. In more technical terms, this process depolarises neurons, which makes them more likely to fire an action potential. Deep TMS can also influence neurotransmitter release by modulating glutamatergic and GABAergic systems while inducing long-lasting changes in synaptic connectivity and neural circuitry. In simple terms, deep TMS can help the brain work better.
The Research on Deep TMS
Deep TMS has been tested in over 60 clinical studies for various indications in leading institutions worldwide. It is CE-marked for the clinical treatment of major depressive disorder, OCD, anxious depression, smoking cessation, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, post-stroke rehabilitation, autism, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
Currently, deep TMS is available in the US, Europe, and South America. Over 15,000 clients have been treated with BrainsWay Deep TMS already, and the research on its impact and conditions continues to grow.
The current body of evidence underscores the remarkable possibilities offered by this non-invasive brain modulation technique. As technology advances and our understanding of the brain deepens, deep TMS could become an indispensable tool in promoting mental health and well-being.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression
Deep TMS has been investigated explicitly as a treatment option for depression, particularly for individuals who have not responded well to other forms of treatment like medication or psychotherapy. The treatment involves delivering magnetic pulses to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is associated with mood regulation. The goal is to modulate brain activity in a way that can alleviate depressive symptoms.
Deep TMS has shown promise in the treatment of depression, and there have been studies supporting its effectiveness. In real-life clinical settings, Deep TMS was proven effective for 4 out of 5 clients with major depression, with a 65.3% remission rate and an 81.6% response rate.
While it’s important to note that results can vary from person to person, these findings are extremely promising for individuals who haven’t experienced relief from depression symptoms using more traditional methods like medication and psychotherapy.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Anxiety
While deep TMS is primarily known for its application in treating depression, there is growing research and clinical interest in its potential effectiveness for anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are characterised by excessive and persistent worry, fear, or nervousness that can significantly impact a person’s daily life. Some common anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
While the research is still emerging, initial findings point to deep TMS as a promising anxiety treatment option for some individuals. Deep TMS targets specific brain regions involved in emotional regulation and cognitive processing, which are also implicated in anxiety disorders. By modulating the activity of these brain areas, dTMS aims to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Smoking Cessation
BrainsWay has developed a coil to help more clients find relief from nicotine addiction. By precisely stimulating key regions of the brain involved in craving and reward processing, BrainsWay’s dTMS technology holds the potential to disrupt the addictive patterns that contribute to nicotine cravings.
This innovative treatment approach offers hope for individuals striving to quit smoking by providing a novel way to rebalance neural activity and reduce the intense cravings that often hinder successful cessation efforts.
Deep TMS Treatment Experience: What to Expect
During a deep TMS session, the patient sits in a comfortable chair and remains awake and alert. A trained technician will fit a specialised deep TMS helmet on the patient’s head, and then the coil will emit magnetic pulses that penetrate the skull and influence the underlying brain tissue.
Many deep TMS patients report a clicking, ticking, or tapping sound similar to what you’d hear during an MRI (though the noises from a deep TMS helmet are a bit quieter). A typical deep TMS treatment schedule involves a series of daily sessions over several weeks, with each session lasting around 20-30 minutes. The exact number of sessions and the treatment plan duration can vary based on the individual’s condition and response to treatment.
Deep TMS at APN London
APN London Deep TMS sessions are safe, quick, effective, and generally well-tolerated. We use three different Brainsway helmets. Each helmet houses an H-coil designed to address specific conditions, including:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Major depressive disorder and anxious depression
- Smoking addiction
Deep TMS Treatment Process at APN London
The process starts with a free call or live chat. A member of our contact centre team will gather your information and send it along to our deep TMS team. From there, we’ll follow up with a call from a deep TMS team member to assess your story and discuss treatment options. We’ll also discuss payment and take steps to see if you are qualified for treatment.
Your First Deep TMS Session
Once we verify the details, we’ll schedule you for treatment. Your first session will run a bit longer: we’ll meet with you for about 60-90 minutes to review details, assess you in person, discuss expectations, and map your brain.
Regular Deep TMS Appointments
After that initial treatment, the subsequent appointments will be more streamlined: you’ll arrive at our location, sit in a comfortable chair and pop on the cushioned helmet for about 20 minutes.
During treatment, you may hear and feel a slight repetitive tapping coming from within the helmet as the coil’s magnetic pulses activate different parts of the brain. If you have any questions or require assistance, your technician will be nearby to help.
What to Expect After Deep TMS
After a dTMS session, you can return to your day without any required downtime. Some patients will notice changes in symptoms as early as two weeks into treatment, and others may need to complete the treatment schedule before feeling a difference. Your treatment team will work with you to make any necessary adjustments and log your progress.
Get Treated: Deep TMS in London
APN London deep TMS sessions are safe, effective, quick, and generally well-tolerated. Whether you’re searching for deep TMS for depression, anxiety relief, or smoking cessation, we can help connect you with targeted treatment.
You deserve to heal, and we can help. Start the process today by calling 0203 984 7699 or completing our online contact form. We’ll work with you to develop a treatment protocol and help answer any questions you may have about deep TMS or any other adjunctive therapies.