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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Recently, neurologists and neurophysiologists have perfected a way to non-invasively stimulate the brain by applying magnetic stimulation to the scalp. This technique, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), can map brain functions as well as possibly treat neuropsychiatric diseases such as Parkinson's disease, chronic pain and depression.  Dr. George has been working with TMS for over 20 years and is a world-renown expert in the field.  The Brain Stimulation Lab has been a pioneering group in TMS technologies since 1995.

Early TMS devices only emitted a single, brief pulse.  Modern devices can generate a rapid succession of pulses, called repetitive TMS (rTMS).  A TMS treatment session typically includes 4 seconds of rTMS stimulation followed by 26 seconds of rest, repeated for 20-40 minutes.  For TMS to be effective, a patient needs to receive treatment five days a week for four to six weeks.

The TMS coil generates a magnetic field impulse that can only reach the outer layers of the cortex.  Some devices are single coils while others are two coils side by side (also called a figure eight).  The impulse may only go 2 -3 centimeters below the device (Higgins & George, 2009).  Current TMS research is focusing on developing new devices that administer TMS to deeper in the brain. 

For a more detailed explanation of TMS, please click here to watch a video.

The BSL offers both clinical TMS with a prescription and research TMS to investigate new TMS technologies.  On average, there are 3 clinical TMS treatments a day and 7 research TMS treatments. 

Here are some of our current TMS study devices:

Cervel Multi-Coil Deep TMS

NeoSync Synchronized TMS

Brainsway H-Coil Deep TMS

For more information on clinical TMS, please call 843-792-5716.  If you are interested in a TMS research study at MUSC, please review a list of our current studies and then call 843-876-5141 if you are still interested. 


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