Over the last 20 years doctors and researchers in the United States have developed a noninvasive technique known as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) to treat abnormalities in the brain. This technique involves creating an electrical field within the brain through a series of magnetic waves. Due to neuroplasticity, changes in the brain occur from changes in the connection between synapses, and this alteration can occur by creating electrical activity in the brain.
During a TMS procedure, a magnetic field generator, or "coil" is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment. The coil produces small electric currents in the region of the brain just under the coil via electromagnetic induction. The coil is connected to a pulse generator, or stimulator, that delivers electric current to the coil
Presently, the rTMS technique has been approved by the United States FDA as a treatment method for depression (where patients are non-responsive to anti-depressants) and chronic migraine. Research is also focusing on the effectiveness of using rTMS in neurological disorders such as paralysis and epilepsy, as well as other mental issues such as addiction, hallucinations, and autism.
Neuromuscular specialist Dr. Natee Raksadawan indicates, since one year, rTMS technology at Bangkok Hospital now offers a Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) Service that is up to international standards.
“Treatment begins with an MRI diagnosis to determine coil placement. rTMS should be done in conjunction with physical therapy, this will increase the chances of successful recovery by over 50-60 percent”.
Each treatment will be personalized according to each patient’s requirements. Some patients of rTMS may require continuous sessions 10-14 times before significant impact becomes evident.