Brain stimulation is a treatment option for people who are struggling with mental illness. There are two main types of brain stimulation: electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Both of these methods work by stimulating and healing weak regions of the brain that are affected by mental illness. ECT uses direct electric currents to stimulate the brain, while TMS uses magnetic frequencies.
While they both have proven to be effective in treating mental illness, they work in very different ways. No matter which method of brain stimulation you choose, the goal is to help you feel better and improve your quality of life. If you’re struggling with mental illness, talk to your doctor about whether brain stimulation could be right for you.
So What is the difference between ECT and TMS?
ECT is an effective treatment for mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder. ECT involves using small electric currents to trigger a brief, controlled seizure in the brain. This helps to improve certain mental health symptoms. Although ECT is effective, it is underused as a treatment option due to factors such as stigma and misinformation. However, ECT is safe and can help people with mental illness recover.
ECT is usually given a few times a week in a series of treatments. ECT is a procedure in which a doctor applies an electric current directly to regions of a patient’s brain. In this process, the specialist will induce a brief therapeutic seizure to increase brain activity. The patient is given muscle relaxers and general anesthesia, making them unaware of the 60-second seizure they experience. The patient is asleep during ECT and wakes up 5 to 10 minutes after it is done. Most people can go back to their normal activities within an hour. Some people may need “maintenance ECT” treatments from time to time after they have finished the initial series.
ECT is often effective in treating depression, with most patients reporting an improvement in their condition. However, there are some potential side effects associated with the treatment, which may include headaches, muscle soreness, or nausea. Additionally, short-term memory loss is a common side effect during treatment but this usually improves once ECT is completed. In rare cases, long-term memory loss may occur, but this is not usually permanent.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be used to treat patients with very aggressive psychotic symptoms. However, the risks and invasive nature of this treatment require patients to take a break from life affairs. Caregivers, psychotherapy, and hospitalization are all recommended. It can be an effective treatment for patients with severe psychiatric symptoms, but it is important to weigh the risks and benefits of this procedure before deciding to undergo treatment. ECT may cause side effects such as confusion, headache, and memory loss. It is important to discuss these risks with a doctor before deciding if ECT is the right treatment for you.
TMS is a treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It is safe and effective and can be used to treat a number of mental and physical health conditions, including depression, major depressive disorder, OCD, PTSD, pain, and substance abuse disorders. This can be especially important for people who have not responded well to other treatments.
During TMS, an electromagnetic coil is placed on a person’s scalp near their forehead and prefrontal cortex. The doctor will determine the amount of magnetic energy needed during the first treatment session, which usually lasts between 40-60 minutes. Short magnetic pulses are then painlessly directed into the part of the brain that controls moods. It is a non-invasive treatment for depression that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for mood and emotion. The procedure is quick, painless, and has few side effects.
TMS does not require anesthesia and the person remains awake during treatment. Like ECT, TMS is administered in several sessions over a period of weeks. The pulses are called repetitive TMS (rTMS) and can provide longer-lasting changes in brain activity. Treatment may be referred to interchangeably as TMS or rTMS. The benefits of TMS have been scientifically shown in studies to be an effective treatment for patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment, such as medication and talk therapy. In one study, 64% of patients reported an improvement in symptoms after receiving TMS treatment. TMS can help to improve symptoms of depression. TMS does not require the use of anesthesia, and people remain awake during treatment. Several sessions usually occur over a period of weeks.
The benefits of TMS have been scientifically proven in numerous studies. For example, one study showed that TMS was an effective treatment for patients who had not responded to other forms of treatment, such as antidepressant medications, and talk therapy. In this study, 64% of patients reported an improvement in symptoms after receiving TMS treatment.
There are few reported side effects of TMS. The most commonly reported side effect is headache, which is usually mild and gradually decreases over the course of treatment. Less commonly, people report scalp discomfort or facial twitching. The most serious risk of TMS is seizures; however, current evidence suggests the risk of seizures is very rare (about 0.03%), with no evidence of permanent damage. While TMS does have some side effects, these are few and much less severe than those associated with ECT. Magnetic stimulation enables individuals to work, exercise, and participate in psychotherapy on a regular basis, activities which can be very difficult to pursue after ECT. Many individuals find that ECT is simply too overwhelming for their levels of depression or other conditions.
TMS is a safe and effective treatment option for many people who suffer from depression or other conditions. However, it is important to talk to a qualified doctor to see if TMS is right for you. A qualified doctor will be able to help you understand the risks and benefits of TMS and make an informed decision about whether or not this treatment is right for you.
Who Can Be Treated?
ECT is often recommended as a treatment for severe depression or mania, as it is one of the most effective treatments available. In cases where first-line treatments like psychodynamic therapy or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are ineffective, ECT may be used as a last resort. However, its high level of efficacy makes it a valuable treatment option for many people with depression or suffering from severe mental illness.
TMS is a treatment that has demonstrated the ability to improve symptoms related to mental health conditions. It is especially beneficial for those who have recently begun experiencing mental health issues, as well as for those whose conditions have not responded well to other forms of treatment. TMS can also be useful for patients who are already receiving other types of treatment, such as medication or psychotherapy. TMS is an effective and safe choice for those who cannot tolerate the side effects of other treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Another important factor to consider with TMS is age. Adults and children can receive regular TMS, but deep TMS is only approved for patients 18 years or older.
TMS and You
Now that you understand the pros and cons of TMS and ECT, you may be wondering which treatment is best for you. In most cases, people seem to gravitate towards TMS because it has advantages over ECT. If you’re interested in TMS, we can help you find a provider near you today.