How does Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation work?
According to the classic principle of electromagnetic induction described by Michael Faraday in 1918, if an electrical current flows through a coil, a magnetic field is produced perpendicular to it. This magnetic field, at the same time, may induce a new electrical current. This is the basis of how TMS works.
The first studies with TMS were developed in the 1980s and they were first applied in the field of neurophysiological studies.
Subsequently, it was observed that if repeated stimuli were performed (rTMS), changes may occur in the excitability of the cerebral cortex and as a result of this, neurological changes may occur that extend beyond the time that the stimulation lasts. These changes depend on several factors, such as the intensity of the stimulation, its frequency and the direction and type of coil.
rTMS is a safe techniqueas long as the safety guidelines are followed. Some patients experience some mild and passing discomfort around the brain and cervical area. The risk of epileptic fits during stimulation is very low and TMS has not been seen to increase the risk of suffering from or inducing seizures once the electrical stimuli has ended.