Transcranial magnetic stimulation

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive method used to stimulate nerve cells in superficial layers of the brain. Control comparisons include ‘sham’ rTMS, which may involve tilting the stimulation coil against the scalp by 45 or 90 degrees, thus reducing the degree of brain stimulation, or use of a “placebo” coil of identical appearance. These placebo methods usually involve a ‘click’ noise but no magnetic field and no twitching sensation on the scalp. Comparison groups can also receive active rTMS applied to other brain regions.

What is the evidence for the effectiveness of rTMS for people with PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence found large improvements in PTSD and anxiety symptoms following rTMS compared to sham rTMS. There were no improvements in depression symptoms. Stimulating the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex resulted in similar improvements and using high frequency stimulation (>5 Hz) improved PTSD symptoms only.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 11:13 pm, 28th July 2021
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