Where did the concept of TMS come from?

Since the first true transcranial magnetic brain stimulator was finalized and utilized in 1984 by Anthony Barker, the field of TMS has continued to expand. However, this was not the first attempt by medical professionals to utilize some form of stimulation directly to the brain to treat disorders.

Prior to the safer and far more comfortable TMS treatments that developed in the 1980s, the use of transcranial electric stimulation was used. This involved running an electric current directly through the brain of the patient.

It became to practitioners that this form of treatment was not in the best interest of the patients, and so a simpler and less painful solution was devised. Using magnetic pulses, they were able to perform similar concentrated treatments without the extreme discomfort associated with the electric stimulation.

These early methods were focused more on the diagnostic side of treatment and investigation of the source of neurological disorders.

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TMS In The Public Eye

In the 1990s

Once the practice of TMS was openly discussed in the scientific journal Neurology with the article Induction of Speech Arrest and Counting Errors with Rapid-Rate Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, this created a conversation that could now happen among professionals about the best practices for the methods. Over the next few years, further tests and exploration of the process provided refined treatment options and improved results.

Even while this form of treatment was becoming more popular and effective, researchers were careful to always measure new advances with caution for the sake of patient comfort and safety. Over the next decade and a half, treatments became more common, and so the training and information about TMS therapies became more standardized.

A Treatment For Treatment Resistant Depression

One 2007 study found that TMS treatment could be effectively used to treat depression in individuals whose condition showed resistance to traditional forms of medication. By transmitting TMS through the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, some patients were able to walk away with significantly reduced depression symptoms.

In 2008, the FDA approved TMS treatment using the NeuroStar TMS device. This treatment was to be specifically used with those individuals who had tried other forms of medication and therapy for depression. After this, other studies would go on to further validate the results of earlier research.

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Advancing This Safe and Effective Treatment

Since the FDA approval of TMS treatment over a decade ago, more advances have been made. Today, TMS therapy is safer and more consistently effective than ever before. As more research has become available and results continue to prove the usefulness of the treatment, more and more medical professionals are considering and recommending TMS therapy for those with treatment resistant depression.

As a non-invasive method of neurological treatment for disorders including depression, TMS has continued to prove itself. As more advances are made in this ever developing field, it can be expected that future therapies and devices will be even more effective at targeting problem areas within the brain and providing relief to those suffering with neurological disorders.

“As a non-invasive method of neurological treatment for disorders including depression, TMS has continued to prove itself.”

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