Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) refers to a technique in which electrodeless stimulation of neurons or muscle fibers is produced by a rapid oscillation in electrical and then magnetic energy (and consequently magnetic fields of the order of 1 T). In light of the growing knowledge of the distributed neuronal networks that are involved in various neuropsychiatric phenomena, TMS has been applied as a neurophysiological probe and a tool to modulate (and possibly regulate) dysfunctional brain regions. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) TMS affects local brain activity as well as more distal paralimbic regions involved in mood regulation. There is growing consensus that TMS has acute antidepressant effects, although little is known about the role played by a variety of stimulation parameters such as the intensity or frequency of stimulation and the total dose (number of stimuli and number of sessions/time). Studies of maintenance TMS for depression are underway. More experience and research are needed for TMS to become integrated into routine clinical practice as an antidepressant.
- Frontal lobes
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation