The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has now approved rTMS (Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) as an effective and safe method of treating depression for patients in the UK. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a treatment which uses pulsing magnetic fields to activate brain centers associated with mood. The treatment has a number of advantages over traditional medication as it is non-invasive. It does not involve surgery, anesthesia or sedation and it does not have the side effects associated with antidepressants. rTMS has also been shown effective in treating migraine, post-natal depression and pain.
MagVenture’s rTMS system is effective and easy to use for psychiatrists who wish to give patients an alternative to antidepressants.
A full depression treatment for patients who have been properly diagnosed and found suitable for rTMS depression treatment includes an initial session with Motor Threshold (MT) determination, followed by 5 treatment sessions per week during a period of normally 4-6 weeks. MagVenture’s treatment protocol consists of 3.000 brief pulses delivered with a repetition rate of 10 pulses per second in 4-second “trains” with 26-second pauses between “trains”. This 37-minutes procedure is pre-programmed as the standard treatment protocol in MagVenture’s system.
MagVenture’s depression system includes the following three steps:
- Treatment cap selection and positioning
- Motor Threshold determination (MT)
- Treatment Session
Motor Threshold Determination has two purposes: to determine the location of the hand area of the motor cortex and to determine stimulation level. Once the motor cortex is found, a line is drawn on the patient's individual cap to show the operator where to place the coil when performing the actual depression treatments.
MT determination should only be performed by medically skilled people. The MT determination is performed on the left hemisphere because the subsequent depression treatments are performed over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). When performing rTMS depression treatment, the stimulation level is defined as 120 % of MT.