rtmsRepetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)

CIMBS introduced rTMS treatment in India in 2008, shortly after approval by US FDA. The team uses high quality imported European machines. The team has treated hundreds of patients – from India and abroad – with rTMS for over a decade. The CIMBS rTMS unit offers cutting-edge and advanced treatments for several psychiatric and neurological disorders.

CIMBS is a pioneer of rTMS treatment in India, and through its vast experience and international collaborations it has contributed to scientific research and trained hundreds of doctors.

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Frequently Asked Questions about rTMS:

Q1. What is rTMS and how does it work?

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-surgical, non invasive, non-pharmacological technique where an electromagnetic field, roughly the strength of an MRI scan, non-invasively passes multiple magnetic pulses per second through the skull. These magnetic pulses stimulate the targeted areas of the underlying brain tissue to produce therapeutic changes.

It is a US FDA approved treatment for certain disorders, which has since then been used in countries such as Canada, UK, Australia, etc.

Q2. Why does rTMS have lesser side-effects?

The treatment targets areas of the brain within a few millimeters and eliminates various side effects associated with other treatments. rTMS does not have side effects that are seen with Electric Shock Treatment (ECT) nor does it have the systemic (bodily) side effects that may occur with medicines.

Q3. What can rTMS do for me? 

Worldwide clinical and research data shows that rTMS is a safe and effective treatment for:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Auditory Hallucinations
  • Migraine
  • Autism
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Tinnitus
  • Amblyopia

rTMS has also been used to decrease difficulties and disability as well as to aid recovery from Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain, Stroke, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Several other uses of rTMS are also being researched with success.

Q4. What rTMS facility does CIMBS offer?

At CIMBS we use MagPro rTMS equipment from the leading manufacturer MagVentures, Denmark and administer treatment strictly following international treatment and safety protocols for which CIMBS team members have received training.

Q5. Who are the ideal candidates for this treatment?

This treatment is ideal for patients who suffer from any of the ailments listed in Q3, and who may not have responded adequately or at all to medication or who have experienced side effects to the medication.

It must be noted that this treatment does not interfere adversely with medication. In fact, in our experience, a combination treatment of rTMS and medication has produced favorable results.

You may consult our team to discuss whether you should consider this treatment option.

Q6. Are results guaranteed with this treatment?

No. While rTMS is an effective and safe treatment alternative, which is true even for treatment-resistant cases as also where rTMS is used as a first-line treatment, results for rTMS treatment vary from individual to individual as in most other treatments. It must be borne in mind that rTMS is a treatment option, like other treatment options available to our patients, and has certain limitations. However, within these limitations, our experience has shown the treatment to be effective in an overwhelming majority of the cases.

Q7. Is the treatment administered in one sitting?

No. rTMS treatment is administered over several sessions depending upon the treatment protocol, course of treatment and the nature of the disorder. As few as 20-30 sessions spanning 20-30 minutes may be sufficient.

At CIMBS, we strictly follow the international treatment protocols which determine the sessions required as per the diagnosed condition. You may seek an appointment with our team to inquire about the recommended course of treatment.

Q8. How soon can you expect rTMS to show results?

Results become noticeable within a week or two from the commencement of the rTMS treatment. However, patients tend to become aware of the therapeutic benefit only towards the second week. However, as the outcome of the treatment may vary from individual to individual, in our experience some patients have responded positively to the treatment later than others.

Q9. Does the treatment cause pain or discomfort?

rTMS treatment has lesser side-effects than other treatment options. The most frequent complaint, however from a minority of patients, is the tingling sensation in the scalp which is usually not comfortable and which typically stops after the first 3-4 sessions. A minor headache may also be experienced during or subsequent to the session, which can be easily treated with pain medication.

A possible side-effect to rTMS is seizures. However, these have been reported in an extremely small percentage of patients (lesser than 20 out of several thousand patients) who have been administered rTMS treatment worldwide.

CIMBS is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to our patients, and we strictly follow the international treatment and safety protocols under which the risk of such seizures is negligible.

Q10. What is the primary difference between rTMS and ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy or Shock Therapy)?

ECT is an invasive treatment which stimulates the entire brain with electricity, which is not specifically targeted at any particular area of the brain. This may cause several side-effects like brief unconsciousness, several cognitive side-effects and memory disturbances.

On the other hand, rTMS is a non-invasive treatment which stimulates only the specific targeted areas (within millimeters) of the brain through magnetic pulses. rTMS, unlike ECT, has not been shown to cause memory loss or loss of consciousness.

Therefore, while ECT is a highly effective treatment for certain severe disorders, rTMS causes far lesser side effects. Further, rTMS is effective in a multitude of disorders, and may even be effective in cases where adequate results have not achieved through other treatments.

Q11. What are the long-term risks associated with rTMS?

Currently available data on repeated application of such magnetic pulses, as seen with MRIs, does not suggest any significant long-term risks.

Q12. What follow-up is required after the rTMS sessions?

Chronic illnesses may require certain maintenance therapy, whether in the form of medication or follow-up rTMS sessions several months after the initial phase of treatment.

Q13. What are the costs involved in this treatment?

At CIMBS, we follow internationally accepted protocols for rTMS treatments which vary depending upon the disorder for which the treatment is sought. The costs accordingly vary, and may be discussed with our team.

Still have questions?

For more details on rTMS and to find out whether you should consider this treatment option, you may seek an appointment with our team.


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