TMS vs. ECT | Which option Is Better For You?
Mental issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Require proper treatment. Everything in your life is based upon how efficiently your brain works. Let’s talk about some most famous techniques that many professional doctors use to treat serious mental issues such as depression or anxiety, etc.
Electroconvulsive Therapy is a procedure in which electrical impulses are used to produce mini seizures like activity in the brain of the patient. These mini seizures target specific neurons in the brain and regulate their activity. ECT is mostly an invasive technique and used to treat multiple psychological conditions.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive technique in which magnetic waves are used to regulate the activity of the targeted neural pathways. It is used for serious psychological disorders like depression & anxiety.
How Do They Work?
ECT includes suitable anaesthetics and muscle relaxants before the induction of electric current to the brain. After giving the medication, the electrodes are placed on the cranial region, and an electric current is induced.
The electrical induction produces a small seizure-like activity in the brain; due to the medication, the patient does not suffer much. The neuronal activities in targeted are regulated with the help of these electrical impulses.
TMS, on the other hand, does not include invasive or painful electrical stimulation. Instead, it uses magnetic signals to treat the targeted neural region in the brain.
It involves the brain’s ability to connect and mould synapses within the nerves. No anaesthetic or muscle relaxant medication is required in TMS.
Indications Of The Therapy
ECT is mainly used to treat serious depression disorders that can no longer be treated by medication, along with other mental conditions such as Bipolar disorders as well as Schizophrenia, etc.
TMS treatment is indicated for depression with the recommendations of the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines in the UK. Other disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and addictions cannot be clinically treated with TMS treatment yet due to the lack of evidence and research on these specific disorders.
Frequency of Therapy
ECT requires the patient to undergo therapy for 3 to 6 weeks, with two procedures a week. While in TMS, continuous therapy for four weeks is needed.
ECT has a success rate of almost 46 to 48 per cent in the case of treating depression, while TMS has a success rate of almost 60 per cent in the same indicated treatment.
The side effects of ECT are more severe than TMS as ECT includes prolonged seizures as well as severe headaches after several days of the therapy. However, TMS only produces a mild headache and almost no headaches.