UC Berkeley Press Release

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Offers Antidepressant Effects

A DGReview of : "What Does ECS Stand for? Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression"
Epilepsy & Behavior

By Elda Hauschildt

Consensus is growing that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can have acute antidepressant effects.

Little information is available, however, on the role of the variety of stimulation parameters, say members of an international team of researchers. These parameters include intensity or frequency of stimulation and total dose. Total dose refers to the number of stimuli and the number of sessions as well as time per session.

TMS is a technique of electrode-less stimulation of neurons or muscle fibres, the investigators explain. It is produced by rapid oscillation in electrical and then magnetic energy. Consequently, the magnetic fields are in the order of 1T.

Investigators comment: "In light of the growing knowledge of the distributed neuronal networks that are involved in various neuro-psychiatric phenomena, TMS has been applied as a neuro-physiological probe and a tool to modulate dysfunctional brain regions.

"Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex TMS affects local brain activity as well as more distal paralimbic regions involved in mood regulation."

Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina and Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Hospital , both in Charleston , United States ; Shandong University in Jinen , China and Catholic University of Korea in Seoul note that studies of maintenance TMS for depression are under way.

"More experience and research are needed for TMS to become integrated into routine clinical practice as an antidepressant," they add.
Epilepsy & Behaviour, 2001: 2: S21-S29. "What Does ECS Stand for? Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression"

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