What is TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe therapeutic method based on a magnetic field and the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction for precise neuromodulation of the brain's bioelectric activity. It is an alternative method of treating some mental disorders, especially drug-resistant ones.

TMS therapy has been officially approved for use by many serious institutions, including the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which are well known for strict regulations.

TMS therapy is widely available and recommended in many countries where it is additionally reimbursed (USA, UK, Netherlands).

TMS Stimulation

TMS guideTMS - how does it work?

TMS is a therapeutic method based on a magnetic field and the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. This method achieves precise neuromodulation of the brain's bioelectrical activity through short magnetic pulses of power comparable to traditional magnetic resonance imaging.

Currently, the most commonly used TMS treatment protocol is repeated series of magnetic pulses (rTMS, repetitive TMS) with a frequency of 10 Hz, which has an excitatory effect, and 1 Hz has an inhibitory effect.

The TMS stimulator generates impulses that penetrate the brain tissue at a depth of approx. 3-4 cm, thus inducing the so-called depolarization current. In this way, the activity of the cerebral cortex is stimulated at the stimulated site, and - through transsynaptic modulation - the activity of adjacent brain structures is also modified.

TMS increases the so-called neuroplasticity of the nervous tissue through the secretion of neuroprotective substances and neurotransmitters (such as serotonin) in the brain. Transcranial magnetic stimulation also stimulates the processes of creating new nerve connections.

TMS guideThe course of therapy

The TMS session takes place on a comfortable armchair. A stimulating coil is attached to the head, generating a magnetic field aimed at a specific brain area (the so-called target). The length of the session depends on the type of protocol and can last from 3 to 20 minutes. One session does not bring any effects; it is necessary to repeat them every day. The results most often appear after 20 TMS sessions. Some protocols allow multiple sessions per day.

A variant of TMS is TBS (theta burst stimulation), i.e., TMS in the form of intermittent stimulation with 50 Hz triplets in theta rhythm (5 Hz). The TBS session lasts only a few minutes, and the patient tolerates it better. Only the best stimulators (such as our Magstim Horizon and MagVenture X30Pro) can produce theta rhythm. The latest scientific research shows the same effectiveness of TBS stimulation compared to the classic 10Hz TMS protocol in treating depression. In addition, iTBS can be cumulated, i.e., performed many times a day (the so-called accelerated iTBS, aiTBS). The entire therapy lasts only a few days. We are the first in Poland to perform commercial aiTBS sessions.

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IndicationsHow can we help you?

The range of conditions we can treat with TMS is extensive.
  • drug-resistant depression (TRD)
  • depressed people whose medications give little improvement or have unbearable side effects
  • depression in the course of bipolar disorder (bipolar disorder)
  • depression in pregnancy and postpartum depression
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (obsessive-compulsive syndrome)
  • tics
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • hypochondriac disorders, dysmorphophobia
  • depersonalization-derealization syndrome (DPD)
  • disorders of habits and drives (behavioral addictions) such as - gambling, workaholism, shopaholism, trichotillomania computer / internet / telephone addiction porn addiction
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • anxiety-depressive syndrome, depressive neurosis
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Insomnia
  • alcohol/nicotine addiction
  • addiction to stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines)
  • behavioral addictions: shopaholism, workaholism, pathological gambling, trichotillomania, addiction to computers, telephone, pornography
  • dementia, including Alzheimer's disease
  • brain fog (mental fatigue, covid fog)
  • improvement of cognitive functions in healthy people - the so-called neuroenhancement

Stories of our patients

We know how difficult it is to lose faith after years of unsuccessful treatment attempts. We are happy with every case of successful therapy.

Ewelina was treated with various preparations - she took flupentixol, quetiapine, mirtazapine, sulpiride, trazodone, paroxetine, and bupropion. Unfortunately, the medications produced nothing but tiring side effects.
Only venlafaxine showed moderate improvement - but only in the beginning.
TMS therapy was effective just a week after the last treatment, and after a few more days - remission of depression.

EwelinaStruggled with drug-resistant depression for ten years

Anita, 25 years old

Anita had been unsuccessfully treated for many years with a diagnosis of dysmorphophobia. Fluoxetine, venlafaxine, paroxetine, sulpiride, and alprazolam were used without significant effect. The patient completely withdrew from social life, and after graduation, she did not start any work.
Before treatment at Magwise, Anita practically did not leave the house.
We performed 45 TMS sessions on the patient within ten days in several areas of the central nervous system, achieving a 70% reduction of symptoms. Thanks to this, Anita was able to start a new life.
TMS therapy was effective just a week after the last treatment, and after a few more days - remission of depression.

Anita, 25 years oldStruggled with OCD spectrum disorders from childhood

Stefan, 40 years old

Stefan has been suffering from persistent symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder since childhood. Even though he is a very gentle person, intrusive thoughts of hurting someone or himself prevail. Moreover, the patient suffers from homosexual obsessions.
We have been treating the patient regularly for two years. During this time, he has experienced a radical reduction in the severity of symptoms. Stefan participates in a program of revision sessions, which allows him to maintain the anti-obsession effect of TMS. He does not take psychotropic drugs.

Stefan, 40 years oldSuffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder

Leokadia, 75 years old

Leokadia is diagnosed with cortico-subcortical atrophy. She was hospitalized twice in psychiatric wards due to dementia and depression symptoms. She came to our office with her blind husband, whom she is a guide and caretaker.
We performed a 10-day TMS treatment cycle on the patient, improving contact, focus, and orientation in the space. Leokadia's husband noted a significant improvement, which was the best reward for our work.

Leokadia, 75 years old

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find the answer to your question? Contact us.
Who is not suitable for treatment?

The only absolute contraindication to TMS is the presence of ferromagnetic materials in the head, such as, for example, cochlear implants or vascular clips. But, attention! This does not apply to dental materials that do not impede the use of TMS.

For safety reasons, TMS is not recommended for people:

  • after brain injuries, strokes, neurosurgical operations with epilepsy (only for high frequencies)
  • with current psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, delusions)
  • having implanted devices - the so-called implants, such as a cochlear implant, pacemaker, or insulin pump
  • with other metal elements in the body, such as vascular stents, metal clips, fragments, bullets
Is TMS painful?

At high frequencies (50 Hz, 10 Hz) during the session, the patient feels a kind of teasing/nibbling on the stimulated area - especially at the beginning of the session, but this is "bearable." After a few minutes, the so-called habituation follows, i.e., getting used to the stimulus, and the pain sensations almost disappear. We never had to interrupt the procedure because of the pain. Conventional painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen taken 30 minutes before the session improve patient comfort.

In the case of low frequencies (1 Hz), there are no pain sensations in the treatment protocol for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Instead, patients report exceptional pleasure and a feeling of "relief" during the session.

Do i need a reference from my doctor?

No referral is needed. However, you should have an interview with a psychiatrist (in person at the office or online).

Dr. Piotr Sulik and Dr. Tomasz Kowalczyk are qualified for the treatments. If there is any, medical records should be prepared for inspection - especially records from psychiatric hospitals and the results of brain imaging tests (CT, MRI, EEG).

How many sessions do i need to feel positive effects?

Most often, improvement occurs after 12-15 sessions. However, some patients feel better between the 20th - 30th session. The optimal number of sessions in a therapeutic cycle is 30 sessions.

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