What is the procedure like?
Following one to two initial evaluations, during which the physician who practices rTMS will ensure that you have no contraindications to the application of this technique and determine that rTMS is indicated in your case, the details of the procedure will be discussed with you. If you agree to undergo rTMS sessions, you will be asked to sign an informed consent. You will also be encouraged to ask questions throughout the duration of the treatment.
The only equipment used during the procedure is a magnetic stimulation device connected to a figure of eight coil which will be positioned over a specific area of your head in contact with the scalp.
During the sessions, you will be comfortably seated in an armchair in the presence of the physician who will administer the treatment. After having determined the stimulation intensity ("dose") to be applied in your case by means of simple stimulations, treatment will begin with repetitive stimulation.
You will then hear clicks during each stimulation which will provoke slight feelings of tapping on the head. Stimulations may also cause contractions in the scalp muscles or in those of the forehead which may lead to mild localized headaches that disappear spontaneously or after taking an analgesic medication.
How long does a treatment session last and how many TMS sessions are necessary?
An rTMS session lasts about 30 to 45 minutes for the treatment of auditory hallucinations and 25 to 35 minutes for the treatment of depression).
Treatment generally consists of two phases: an acute treatment phase and a maintenance treatment phase, following remission from symptoms of depression or a significant improvement of auditory hallucinations.