Risks to doing TMS


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    Steve BatesSteve Bates

    Repetitive TMS is a type of noninvasive brain stimulation that is used to treat depression. rTMS does not require surgery or electrode implantation, unlike vagus nerve stimulation or deep brain stimulation. rTMS does not cause seizures or require anesthesia sedation, unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

    rTMS is generally thought to be safe and well-tolerated. It may, however, have some negative consequences.

    Typical side effects
    Side effects are usually mild to moderate, improving quickly after each session and diminishing over time as more sessions are completed. Some examples are:

    Scalp discomfort at the stimulation site
    Facial muscle tingling, spasms, or twitching
    To alleviate symptoms, your doctor may adjust the level of stimulation or suggest that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever before the procedure.

    Unusual negative effects
    Serious side effects are extremely uncommon. Some examples are:

    Mania, especially in people with bipolar disorder, is caused by seizures.
    Inadequate ear protection during treatment can cause hearing loss.
    To see if rTMS has any long-term side effects, more research is needed.

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