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What is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a treatment for reducing severe anxiety symptoms. This treatment uses magnetic fields to alter brain function, possibly making nerve cell connections more efficient and changing how regions of the brain interact to influence mood.

In rTMS, a donut- or figure-eight-shaped coil with a rapidly changing electric charge is passed over the scalp, creating a magnetic field. That magnetic field induces an electric current in the brain that is strong enough to activate nerve cells.

Unlike the conventional use of electricity to shock the brain directly, rTMS does not induce a seizure. No anesthesia is necessary, the patient is fully awake during the procedure, and memory is not affected. Typically, high-frequency magnetic impulses are applied for a half-hour a day, five days a week, for two or more weeks. Low-frequency magnetic impulses are also being investigated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.