Etkin Lab
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rTMS

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

rTMS - Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment for Depression

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS, is a medication-free treatment for depression.  Whether you’ve found little relief with anti-depressant medications or you prefer a drug-free solution, rTMS could be a great option for you.

Our current rTMS study is closed to participation. Please visit our site again soon for more updates.

What to expect from treatment sessions:
rTMS uses a magnetic coil to stimulate the targeted brain area. This is a non-invasive procedure, with no anesthesia involved. Unlike other more invasive treatment options for depression, such as Electroconvulsive Therapy, participants can resume normal activity immediately after treatment.

Our treatment sessions typically last about 1hr and occur every weekday for 4 weeks. While time-consuming, the daily commitment is necessary to get the most effective treatment.

To get a better picture of what the TMS experience is like, please watch this video explaining the procedure.

How does it work?
It is believed that rTMS works by establishing long-term connections in the brain through repetitive stimulations.

When used as a treatment option for depression, rTMS is targeted at one area of the brain that has been particularly weakened in people with depression, the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). By repetitively stimulating this area of the brain, rTMS modulates and restores the “connection” between the DLPFC and other areas to a normal functioning level. The therapeutic effect of rTMS is believed to be long-lasting, expected to maintain for weeks to months post-treatment. However, just like every other treatment option, whether rTMS will work and for how long, may vary highly amongst individuals.

The current treatment model of TMS in the clinic is highly standardized with patients receiving rTMS 5-6cm in front of their motor cortex, with the intention of targeting the DLPFC.

Here at the Etkin Lab at Stanford, we’re providing novel rTMS treatments that are individually tailored for each participating patient, in an effort to maximize the chance of remission. Through the state-of-the-art technology that combined fMRI imaging and real-time neuro-navigation, we deliver rTMS treatments that directly target the DLPFC based on each patient’s brain anatomy.

What do I have to do?
If you’re interested in our TMS treatment, the first step is for you to schedule a phone interview with our clinical staff to assess whether it’s a safe and worthwhile option for you.  We do have some baseline criteria for participants for this study, please verify that you meet this criteria before making an appointment. If you don’t qualify for this study, we do have others with different criteria.

 

For more information on what to expect from the study procedures discussed above:

What to expect from a fMRI:

What to expect from an EEG:

What to expect from TMS:

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