How Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Works to Improve Brain Function
Nearly 50 million Americans report issues with anxiety or depression, and these numbers are on the rise thanks to the current health pandemic. In fact, the US Census Bureau has found that nearly one in three Americans reported signs of clinical anxiety or depression last year.
While there are many different types of mental health issues, they all have one thing in common: They all start in your brain.
Our team of neuromodulation specialists here at BrainStim Centers fully understands this point, which is why we offer an innovative therapy that improves brain networking and function. It’s called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy.
Here’s a look at why this noninvasive and drug-free approach to mental health is becoming so popular in treating everything from anxiety and depression to addiction and chronic pain.
The complexity of the human brain
To say that the human brain is complex is putting it mildly. Consider this: The average human brain is made up of 86 billion neurons, and each of these neurons has 10,000 connections.
These neurons and their connectors form a circuit, which allows electrical activity to pass from one brain cell to the next. These circuits control most of the functions in your body, from muscle movement to mood regulation.
For example, when you have a mood disorder, such as depression, the circuits in your brain that regulate your moods, which are mostly found in your prefrontal cortex, are less active. In turn, these low neurotransmission levels can lead to imbalances in serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine — the primary neurotransmitters associated with depression.
How TMS helps brain function
The goal behind our TMS therapy is to stimulate specific areas of your brain for better function. Through a device that we place on your head, we deliver magnetic pulses that cause brief activity in your brain cells.
As you progress through your treatments, the ongoing stimulation gradually helps your brain form newer, healthier neural pathways.
To give you an idea of the efficacy of TMS therapy, Harvard Medical School reports that roughly 50-60% of people with depression who have “tried and failed to receive benefit from medications experience a clinically meaningful response with TMS.”
TMS and you
One of the many benefits of our TMS therapy is that our neuromodulation specialists are able to directly target the areas of your brain responsible for your mental health issue. To get started, we first perform an MRI, which allows us to get a better look at what’s happening inside your brain.
After we upload the image into our industry-leading Nexstim SmartFocus® system, we’re able to map the areas of your brain that are underactive to come up with a targeted treatment plan.
The TMS treatments themselves are noninvasive, and are usually done in about an hour, from start to finish. You should count on undergoing a series of treatments for best results, but we’ll be sure you understand the timeline beforehand.
If you’d like to break free from your mental health issue with TMS therapy, contact one of our two locations in Encino or Valencia, California, to set up a consultation.