Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a safe and effective clinical therapy used to treat depression and a number of other neurocognitive disorders.
TMS induces the physiological process of neuromodulation, where a stimulus (from inside or outside the body) directs and regulates a system of neurons, as opposed to affecting one neuron at a time.
Repetitive application of TMS (rTMS) involves delivering frequent magnetic pulses to the brain at predetermined locations along the scalp, which can change the brain’s inherent electrical activity (pattern of brainwaves) and evoke behavioral changes that can result in improved clinical outcomes.
While it’s clear that brain stimulation treatments work well in the clinical setting, we don’t understand why. Our basic research study aims to better understand how the mechanics of TMS actually work in order to define which stimulation parameters will work best in treatment. We are also investigating how the different parameters of rTMS treatment-- frequency, anatomic location, intensity, length of session--affect functional imaging and clinical outcomes for different people. Learn more.