What is rTMS?
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been cleared and approved by the FDA as a method for treating treatment-resistant major depression. Many physicians utilize this technology as an off-label alternative for treating several additional psychiatric disorders.
rTMS utilizes a strong targeted pulse magnet, similar to what is used for MRI, to either stimulate specific areas of the brain that are under-active, such as in depression or de-stimulate areas of the brain that are overactive, such as in Chronic Pain.
Repetitive TMS (rTMS) is required as each treatment series may consist of sessions of 20-40 minutes administered five days a week, for up to 10 weeks. Patients are awake during the procedure as it is a non-invasive treatment.
Determining an Area for Treatment
TMS machines come with a pre-programmed estimation for treating specific areas of the brain. The patient’s head is measured and the TMS magnet is placed on a location of the head where the brain region specifically related to the diagnosis is generally located.
How can fMRI help Physicians Performing rTMS?
While repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or rTMS, systems have been approved and cleared by the FDA as treatment for treatment-resistant major depression, many patients still fail to undergo remission. As reported in NeuroImage Volume 151, 1 May 2017, the authors, concluded that, “rTMS for depression using scalp-based targeting has shown limited efficacy to date.” They went on to state that “Using fMRI-guided neuronavigation along with a model of neurocircuit dysfunction may improve the efficacy of rTMS.”
Rad Alliance, Inc. specializes in advanced neurological imaging service including fMRI, which supports a physician’s visualization of their patient’s unique brain function and network connectivity.
In addition, we are able to provide imaging services to support a physician’s assessment of pre- and post-therapy effect.