TMS FAQ: What Happens During a TMS Procedure?


During the first TMS session, measurements are made to determine a proper position for TMS coil. This position is recorded and will be applied throughout the duration of the treatment. Next, patient’s motor threshold is measured, by administering several brief pulses. The motor threshold is the minimum amount of power necessary to make the patient’s thumb twitch and varies from individual to individual. Measuring the motor threshold personalize the treatment settings and determine the amount of energy required to stimulate brain cells. Since the brain adapts to the TMS, mapping and threshold determination is periodically repeated to readjust to the changes.deeptms_fig2

Once the motor threshold is determined treatment may start. During the treatment sessions, the coil is then brought forward over the area that is associated with mood control. This completes the personalization phase and the treatment phase begins. During the treatment, patients will hear a series of clicking sounds and will feel a tapping sensation under the treatment coil. In case of discomfort, patient can interrupt the procedure.

Because TMS like MRI uses magnetic pulses, TMS patients follow similar treatment protocol. Before beginning a treatment, patients are asked to remove any magnetic-sensitive objects (such as jewelry, credit cards). Patients are also required to wear earplugs during treatment for their comfort and hearing protection.

Mountain View Psychiatry & TMS
525 South Drive, Suite 207
Mountain View, CA 94040
Phone: 650-231-4490
Fax: 650.969.3309
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