Medication management is not part of TMS therapy. TMS Solutions' role is to administer TMS Therapy only. Any changes in a patient’s medication management is at the discretion of the referring physician. TMS Solutions’ Chief Medical Officer is open to collaboration with referring physicians to provide the best care for each patient.
** Please let us know if your medication changes at any time during treatment **
One of the most frequently asked questions by patients is what they should expect from TMS treatment:
Mapping means to find the area of the head where the TMS device will be placed for treatment. During the mapping session, the patient is given a white cotton cap to wear. The physician takes measurements and utilizes the TMS device to perform some tests. The measurements are written on the white cap. Each time a patient come for treatment, they wear the cap to make it easy for the Technician to place the device in the exact spot necessary.
There is a portion of the brain called the homunculus that runs across the head from ear to ear. It is referred to as the "motor strip", and it controls your movement on the opposite side of your body. Scientists have found that a magnetic pulse administered to this region on the left side of the head causes a response in the right thumb and fingers in the form of a twitch—like a reflex when the doctor taps your knee. The mapping session entails finding this area of your brain's motor strip by administering single magnetic pulses of increased strength until there is a twitch in the thumb or fingers. We refer to this as your motor threshold.
Once your motor threshold is determined, the doctor moves the magnetic coil forward of the motor strip in five centimeter increments, which we refer to as “the hunt”. At each stop, a pulse is emitted to stimulate the fingers on the right hand. The strength of the finger twitch, or lack thereof, determines whether or not the location is correct. Once the strongest response is observed, the location is recorded so treatment can be administered in that exact spot during every treatment session moving forward. As stated before, the patient is alert and interacts with the technician during this mapping session. There is no pain during this process, only the tapping sensation that accompanies the magnetic pulse.
The area of the brain we are hunting for is called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; it is a nexus of nerve cells involved in depression. Think of this area as a trailhead for your limbic system. By stimulating this portion of the brain, the magnetic pulses continue to stimulate neurons along neural pathways, ultimately stimulating deeper brain structures involved with depression.
Images of a patient being mapped.