It is a new medical therapy that uses pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain thought to control mood. Each magnetic pulse passes through the skull into the brain.
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy is an alternative treatment for those patients who have either not been able to tolerate antidepressants or for whom psychotherapy and medications have not been effective. It is an outpatient procedure that does not involve surgery, anesthesia or sedation; the patient is always awake and conscious.
It generally consists of 36 sessions of about 18 minutes each over a period of 6 weeks. During each session, the patient sits in a chair specially designed for this treatment and removes any magnetic object, such as jewelry, credit cards, etc. It is recommended that patients use earplugs in order to protect their ears as loud sounds during the session, similar to an MRI machine, are produced.
This new FDA approved treatment must be prescribed by a doctor and administered by an experienced technician under the supervision of a physician.