How does Transcranial magnetic stimulation work?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique targeting specific regions of the brain for excitatory or inhibitory effects. The electromagnet stimulates areas such as the left prefrontal cortex for mood regulation and depression symptoms. The left-prefrontal cortex is where mood control and executive functions are regulated, and in individuals with depression, it is hypothesised that there is decreased activity in this region. As a result, TMS increases the activity in this region known as an ‘excitatory effect’. TMS has helped individuals with depression to gain significant improvements in mood, motivation, confidence and other symptoms such as sleep and appetite.
Even though Transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment improves depression symptoms mentioned above. However, some individuals may have underlining issues that need resolving. In this case, talking therapy will be more suitable and recommended. TMS treatment and talking therapy can be combined for a more effective treatment. Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has been used for many years in helping individuals with depression to overcome their symptoms as well as other psychological issues as mentioned below.
The concept of CBT is that your thoughts, feelings and behaviour are interconnected and this can become a vicious cycle for someone with depression. CBT aims to deal with problems more positively and to break them down into smaller parts so that it can be dealt with more effectively.
A CBT therapist will work with how we think about a situation and how it can affect the way we behave towards that particular problem. CBT tends to concentrate on the present issues and problems rather concentrating on the past. There is vast research into the effectiveness of CBT for treating depression and the NICE guidelines have provided independent recommendations for the treatment of anxiety as well. NICE provides the NHS with independent, evidence-based guidance for the most effective ways of treating ill health.
Uses for CBT
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Sleep problems
- Post-traumatic stress disorder