Well Health Organic

Latest Health Updates

Magnetic Stimulation

Magnetic Stimulation: TMS Therapy For Managing Depression And Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Bipolar disorder are mental health conditions that affect the mood. These conditions are often characterized by several symptoms such as guilt, changes in body weight, loss of interest in carrying out regular activities, and lots more.

To help combat these mental health-related conditions, a process involving magnetic stimulations called Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy. This process has been brought into use and has also proved successful as treatment and management medications for several mental health and brain-related conditions such as Depression and Bipolar Disorder (BD).

However, the application of TMS therapy keeps evolving with modern technology. This has led to the development of several new TMS protocols like saint TMS to facilitate the tackling of the rise of treatment-resistant depression and also help people with this condition.

Through this article, you will understand the meaning of TMS therapy, its mode of operation in the treatment and management of Bipolar disorder and Depression, the benefits, as well as its alternatives.

What Is TMS Therapy?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a therapeutic procedure, which involves the use of magnetic coils to influence the natural electrical activity of the brain.  It is also called repetitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) because it uses repetitive electrical impulses.

This non-invasive treatment which was developed in 1985, is now widely applied in the treatment of several brain and mental health conditions such as Depression.

There are also notable effects of TMS on other disorders like Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia, and lots more.

How Does TMS Therapy Operate?

TMS therapy is an outpatient procedure which means you need not spend the night at the hospital or clinic. It is often done by a TMS technician or TMS physician.

Before undergoing the procedure, you will be instructed to take off certain items like jewelry, hair pins, and any other object which could be sensitive to magnets.

During TMS, your technician will have you put on earplugs to aid in minimizing the clicking sound of magnetic impulses.

You will be made to sit in a comfortable chair throughout the procedure because of its duration. You will also be alert throughout treatment, which means you will not need anesthesia.

If you’re new to this technique, the physician or technician will have to measure your head. This is to determine where to place the magnetic coil and also personalize the settings on the TMS machine to suit you.

The magnetic coil will then be placed above the front area of your brain as you begin the treatment. During the procedure, you’ll hear clicking sounds while the magnetic impulses are released.

The brighter side of this therapy is that, at the end of the procedure, you can continue with your regular activities. However, the duration or number of times you will undergo this treatment is dependent on your level of responsiveness.

TMS Therapy For Managing Depression

The failure of several procedures, difficulty in getting solutions for treating and managing treatment-resistant depression, and unresponsiveness to antidepressants have posed a huge risk to individuals with these conditions.

But thankfully, the continuous advancement in health and medications has brought a ray of hope for these individuals by introducing the use of Transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for stubborn depression.

It will interest you to know that TMS therapy was approved for this purpose by the Food and drug administration (FDA) in 2008. This was because of its success in helping individuals who are unresponsive to antidepressants, regular psychotherapy, and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

In the year 2015, research revealed that depression is associated with a decrease in activity in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is involved in some depression symptoms like low energy levels and untimely changes in appetite.

TMS helps in the treatment of this condition by stimulating the nerve cells and increasing activities in the prefrontal cortex using magnetic pulses. This increases the brain’s activity and leads to an improvement in the symptoms.

TMS Therapy For Managing Bipolar Disorder(BD)

TMS therapy has shown impressive results in the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Researchers of a 2019 review of published studies on the use of TMS for bipolar disorder, revealed that a good number of people experiencing the depressive symptoms of BD, noticed improvement in their symptoms across multiple studies. While people with mania symptoms of BD had mixed results across multiple studies.

However, outside manic and depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder, only a few have studied people living with other symptoms of bipolar disorder which makes it difficult to conclude the effect of TMS therapy on bipolar disorder.

To this effect, experts proposed that more research is required to determine the best way to apply TMS therapy for the treatment of bipolar disorder, the best frequency, and target areas to avoid complications.

Alternative Therapies To Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

Ketamine Therapy

1.    Ketamine Treatment For Depression:

Ketamine is a drug that is used for anesthesia and pain control. Nevertheless, it is being noticed for its effective antidepressant effects.

There are different types of ketamine with different modes of administration. Ketamine can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly, or as a prescription nasal spray.

Furthermore, the FDA has approved the use of Ketamine nose spray in the treatment of depression, but it must be strictly administered by a healthcare professional in a doctor’s office. This is to regulate its usage and avoid misuse.

2.    Ketamine Therapy For Anxiety Disorder:

Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common mental health-related conditions in the United States.  This disorder is often associated with the feeling of overwhelming tension and restlessness.

Fortunately, with the continuous evolution in health and treatment procedures, off-label medications and treatments like ketamine have been seen to show massive success. The use of ketamine for anxiety has recently shown success in the treatment of this condition.

Further research has revealed that regular application of ketamine infusions for anxiety and other treatment-resistant depression has been proven to reduce depressive symptoms in patients.

3.    Ketamine For Bipolar Disorder(BD)

The use of ketamine in the treatment of Bipolar disorder has been effective. I’m addition, research has it that this drug works by targeting specific receptors in the brain which are called the NMDA receptors.

These receptors are responsible for the regulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission, mood, and emotions.

Ketamine activates these receptors which triggers a process called synaptogenesis.

Synaptogenesis means the formation of new synaptic connections in the brain which allows for better communication between neurons.

This process enables the brain to enhance the regulation of mood and emotions which further leads to an improved mental state.

It is important to know that irrespective of how good ketamine is at improving the symptoms of BD, it is not a cure.

Electroconvulsive Therapy(ECT):

This is a non-invasive medical treatment that involves the use of small electric currents to stimulate a brief, regulated seizure in the brain.

ECT is mostly applied to individuals with serious mental illnesses such as Bipolar disorder and Major depressive disorder(MDD).

Unlike TMS, ECT is performed under anesthesia. It creates changes in the normal chemistry of the brain which can rapidly enhance some mental health symptoms.

However, this procedure is underused in the treatment of mental health and brain-related issues.

Benefits Of TMS Therapy

TMS therapy is widely used in numerous mental health-related conditions compared to other therapeutic procedures.

This is because of its numerous benefits which are key factors for the application of any treatment. Some of these advantages are:

●    Non-invasiveness:

One key benefit of TMS therapy is that it is non-invasive. The treatment is simple and you will not experience any recovery or downtime after it is done.

Unlike other treatments, you may feel dizzy or tired which would slow you down and in most cases, you might need the assistance of a friend to move.

But with TMS therapy none of these side effects are obtainable. This is to say that after the procedure, you can drive home, and continue your regular activities immediately.

●    Highly Effective:

TMS is particularly very effective on people with treatment-resistant depression.

Statistics have it that about 66% of individuals with treatment-resistant depression, saw improvement in their symptoms as a result of using TMS therapy.

●    Reduction in medication:

TMS can be very effective in that people with treatment-resistant depression can cut down or stop taking prescription drugs.

TMS can serve as a replacement for medications and also eliminate possible addiction to these medications.

Hope For Mental Health

Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is no doubt a very effective and beneficial procedure for anyone experiencing mental health-related conditions.

Aside from being effective on depression and showing some level of positive outcomes on Bipolar disorder, TMS is effective on other conditions like Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Nicotine addiction, and many more.

In addition, this therapy is a lot more preferable because of its fewer side effects, compared to other therapeutic procedures. Therefore, if you’re battling depression or Bipolar disorder or you know someone with this condition, suggest this article to them. They will benefit from the information here and get the right treatment.


  1. When Should TMS Therapy Be Used?

TMS therapy should be used when there is resistance or unresponsiveness to other procedures in the treatment of depression.

  1. Is TMS Therapy Temporary Or Permanent?

TMS therapy can help relieve the depressive symptoms you may be experiencing when other traditional treatments like medications have failed.

While no depression treatment is termed permanent, studies reveal that TMS can have long-lasting effects on depressive symptoms.

  1. What Not To Do During TMS?

During the period of your therapy, it is advised to steer clear of alcohol. This is because alcohol will make you feel dehydrated and also it affects your brain. Recall that your brain has to be alert and stimulated during the entire procedure.