Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS has been used clinically since the 1980s, and it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depression, migraines, and pain disorders.
During a TMS session, the patient sits in a chair or reclines while a small, electromagnetic coil is held over the scalp. The coil produces rapidly changing magnetic fields that pass through the skull and stimulate nerve cells in the brain. The magnetic pulses are delivered in short bursts, typically lasting a few seconds each, and may be repeated several times during a single session.
TMS is generally well-tolerated and carries a low risk of serious side effects. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort or headaches during or after the procedure. In rare cases, TMS may cause seizures, but this risk is considered very low when the procedure is performed by a trained and qualified healthcare professional.
The length and frequency of TMS treatment will depend on the patient’s condition and response to treatment. Typically, TMS involves several sessions per week for several weeks, followed by maintenance treatments as needed.
While the exact mechanisms of TMS are still being studied, it is believed to work by increasing activity in certain areas of the brain and promoting the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in mood regulation. TMS has been shown to be effective for many patients with depression who have not responded to other treatments, and it is an exciting area of research for a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Combination of TMS and stem cell therapy
The combination of TMS and stem cell therapy is an emerging approach in the field of regenerative medicine that aims to promote neural repair and functional recovery. TMS is a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate specific regions of the brain, which can modulate neural activity and improve symptoms of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Stem cell therapy involves the use of stem cells to regenerate and repair damaged tissue, including neural tissue. By differentiating into neural cells and releasing growth factors, stem cells can support the reconstruction of damaged neural circuits and enhance functional recovery.
When combined, TMS and stem cell therapy aim to enhance the therapeutic effects of both approaches. TMS can help create a more favorable environment for stem cells by promoting neural activity and plasticity, which can support stem cell survival and differentiation. In turn, stem cell therapy can provide sustained and targeted repair of damaged neural tissue, potentially enhancing the benefits of TMS.
Preclinical studies have shown promising results in combining TMS with stem cell therapy for conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disorders. In a rat model of stroke, TMS combined with mesenchymal stem cells led to significantly greater functional recovery compared to either treatment alone. Similarly, in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, TMS combined with neural stem cells led to enhanced neuroprotection and improved motor function.
However, clinical evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of this combination therapy is still limited, and further studies are needed to establish optimal protocols, timing, and specific conditions where it may be particularly beneficial. As with any medical treatment, it is essential to consult with qualified healthcare professionals who can assess individual cases, discuss potential benefits and risks, and provide personalized recommendations based on the latest scientific evidence and clinical expertise.
Is Stem Cell Therapy Right For Me?