TMS delivers localized electromagnetic pulses to the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of your brain that regulates mood. These electromagnetic pulses stimulate neurons, which release neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Depression and other mental health conditions are linked to an imbalance of these neurotransmitters. TMS works to restore that balance and can provide a more lasting impact on relieving depression symptoms than other treatments, such as antidepressants.
During a TMS treatment, the patient sits in a comfortable chair while the TMS coil is properly set in place on their head. (While this may sound intimidating, it really isn’t!) After the headpiece is in place, electromagnetic pulses are sent to the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain responsible for mood.
However, undergoing TMS treatment for a memory disorder is a slightly different process than using TMS therapy to treat clinical depression. When being treated for depression, patients have the option to watch tv, listen to music, or chat with staff or a family member. For memory disorder treatments though, patients work on cognitive exercises. It is believed that combining cognitive exercise with TMS treatment helps improve the benefits of the therapy. While a patient works on these cognitive exercises, magnetic pulses are directed at the part of the brain that is dysregulated.
TMS cognitive impairment sessions take about 25 minutes. The treatment consists of 25 sessions over seven weeks. To measure the effectiveness of the treatment on the individual, the patient’s cognitive abilities are tested before and after the course of treatment.