rTMS in Cardiff

rTMS stands for Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. rTMS in Cardiff is a treatment modality known to mankind for several years but now it is only gradually finding its way into psychiatry. Since 1985, rTMS therapy has been used by many people to relieve their feelings of hopelessness and intense sadness which can be associated with depression.  
rTMS is not a first-line treatment but one of the newer neuromodulatory options for treating depression, when other treatments including medication-based approaches and psychotherapy have either not worked. It is an FDA-cleared treatment for treatment resistant depression. It can be prescribed alone or in combination with traditional depression treatments including the use of antidepressants.

How does rTMS work?

rTMS for Depression in Wales

rTMS for depression in Wales uses this rTMS therapy, which makes use of a magnetic coil that generates a very small magnetic current which modulates the superficial tissue of the brain- in technical terms the superficial cortical neurons. When it is done repeatedly over some time, it starts to modulate networks in the brain that were earlier not functioning in people suffering from depression, thereby improving the symptoms of depression to a great extent.   

Here is what a patient can expect at a typical rTMS treatment session:
  • The patient is asked to sit or recline comfortably on a chair, whilst the an electromagnetic coil is placed on his/her head, specifically in the frontal area of the brain that regulates mood (in cases of depression).
  • The magnetic coil generates magnetic pulses that are sent to the patient’s brain. At this step, the patient might feel like someone has tapped or knocked on his/her head. 
  • Further, these magnetic pulses produce an electric current in the neurons (nerve cells) present in the area being treated. It is believed that these electric currents modulate the brain cells and the networks linked with Depression. 
  • After the therapy, the patient can resume his/her routine activities including driving. 
Who could benefit from rTMS?

According to the top rTMS psychiatrist Wales, the following requirements must be met by the candidates:

  • They must have tried other alternative treatments such as the use of at least one depressant and haven’t achieved enough effect or received success. 
  • There are no contra-indications for use of Magnetic devices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The risks with rTMS are generally negligible. 
The common side effects that could be seen in the patients treated with rTMS are:

• Mild headache- It could be easily managed using good ear plugs during the treatment session, by ensuring the body is kept hydrated, or by simply taking some painkiller. 
• Feelings of light-headedness
• Tingling or tightening of the muscles in the face, jaw, or scalp due to electromagnetic pulses
• Temporary hearing issues because of the loud noise from magnetic coils, which can often be prevented by use of ear buds during treatment.

It was previously thought that r-TMS could lead to seizures, however, rarely do patients have an incidence of seizures post-treatment with rTMS. The statistics and incidence of seizures with TMS are significantly lower than for the patient prescribed antidepressant therapy. This means it is a much safer treatment and with newer protocols using Theta Burst stimulations is becoming more common. Theta Burst is a higher frequency stimulation which allows for the active treatment duration per session to be reduced to around 5 min.

rTMS therapy is not meant for people having:

• Shrapnel or bullet fragments near their head
• Implanted stimulators
• Stents in the brain or neck
• Implantable cardioverter defibrillator or pacemakers
• Aneurysm clips or coils
• Metal implants in the eyes or ears
• Permanent facial tattoos with magnetic inks or dyes that are sensitive to magnets

With the standard protocols that have been used for TMS treatment, each treatment session lasts for about 40 minutes. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has to be carried out every day for up to 4 weeks, which means 30 odd sessions are required to be done repeatedly to start noticing differences. Most patients start experiencing its benefits of it in about 2 weeks or so. 

However, as more research evidence is coming up along with the clinical experience, the protocol has been shortened and now each treatment session can be done in just 20 minutes. 

Furthermore, the recent protocols make use of certain high frequencies called Theta Burst stimulations which makes one treatment session lasts for about 3-5 minutes. People can undergo 2-3 sessions of theta burst stimulation in a single day with similar results as that provided by the standard protocol. 

Researchers and doctors are even looking into tailor-made treatment packages for rTMS wherein the brain could be technically looked at by seeing at different brain frequencies to find out to what extent a particular brain portion is functioning so that less functional areas can be modulated with rTMS to get the best results.

As seen in studies and clinical practice, with each addition of antidepressants to treat depression the remission rates start becoming lower and over time even the relapses also increase, hence making treatment difficult. However, with rTMS, the remission rates are significantly much higher. This means the patient starts getting better with each treatment session and their quality of life improves. 

The price to be paid for your complete rTMS therapy can vary based on the location of the clinic, the number of sessions required, and the doctor experience. Many insurance companies may not cover its cost while some may at least pay a portion. If one is unable to pay the entire amount as quoted by the doctor, they can look for the payment plans and discounted programs offered by some healthcare facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. 

In order to learn more about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in Wales, consult about Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in detail, consult now Dr. Raman Sakhuja, an expert and experienced Psychiatrist in Cardiff.

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