Connectomix offers personalised TMS therapy
Connectomix aims to make personalised transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments throughout South Africa.
What is TMS ?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic fields to target areas of the brain for stimulation to improve.
The stimulation of the nerve cells is shown to improve neurological and mental health disorders and assists in addiction recovery.
What is TMS ?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses a magnetic field to stimulate specific areas of the brain. It is usually performed by a trained healthcare provider in a medical setting.
During a a session, the patient sits in a comfortable chair and wears a special headset (a magnetic field generator, or “coil,”) is placed against a specific area of the scalp. The coil produces a shirt burst of a magnetic field that passes through the skull and stimulates the brain cells in the targeted area. The magnetic field is rapidly turned on and off, creating a current that stimulates the brain cells. The intensity and duration of the magnetic field can be varied to achieve the desired effect.
It enhances the brain’s inherent neuroplasticity- this is the brain’s ability to build connections between different parts of the brain. This allows the brain to adapt, relearn or re-program itself in order to function better. Stimulation of the correct neural circuitry, at the correct frequency, has the potential to translate into clinical benefit.
Simply put, this allows functioning of underactive areas of the brain to be “switched on” and overactive areas of the brain to be “switched off.”
The concept of transcranial magnetic stimulation was first proposed in the late 19th century, but it was not until the 1980s that the first devices were developed. These early devices were large and cumbersome, making them difficult to use in a clinical setting.
The first human study was conducted in 1985 by Anthony Barker and his colleagues at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. They used it to study the function of the motor cortex, the area of the brain responsible for voluntary movement.
In the 1990s, researchers began to investigate the use of TMS as a treatment for depression. The first clinical trial of for depression was conducted in 1995, and the procedure was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for depression in 2008.
Since its approval, it has been used to treat a variety of other conditions, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain. Research is ongoing to determine the potential benefits of TMS for other conditions.
Navigated TMS uses Brain MRI imaging to target TMS stimulation to precise brain areas.
The patient’s scalp is mapped in real space as a three-dimensional presentation with an optical camera, a reference frame placed on the forehead and tracking pen. As the scalp is mapped accurately we are able to map the patient’s underlying brain in three-dimensionals space.
Connectomix in South Africa uses Navigated TMS and has extensive experience with accurate implementation of Navigated TMS ..
How does Connectomix personalise TMS treatments ?
Connectomix is able to personalise our treatment by performing a sophisticated MRI scan that is analysed with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to construct an individualised brain map.
This personalisation allows us to compare your brain map against a database of brain maps from people that have no mood or neurological problems.
This allows us to identify overactive or underactive areas in your brain that may be causing your symptoms.
Once identified, we use a sophisticated brain navigation system to target these specific areas in your brain to achieve personalised treatments.
1. Medication free treatment
Treatments are medication free. It can be used alongside your other treatment plans.
2. Short treatments
TMS treatment is an out-patient, non-invasive procedure. Treatment plans are typically between 20 – 30 sessions, each averaging around 5-10 minutes per session. The treatments are done at our state-of-the-art clinics in a comfortable chair, within a comfortable environment.
3. Stopped at any time
You can stop the treatments at any time without any side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Treatment is non-addictive.
4. Minimal side effects
Has minimal side effects, compared to medications.
Does not cause any physical changes such as weight gain, hair loss, scalp damage or sex related difficulties.
5. Non-hospitalised treatment
Does not require any admission into a hospital or clinic and no overnight stays.
6. Effective treatments
In clinical trials TMS has been shown to be over 50% effective in treating mental health conditions. Navigated TMS with personaised brain mapping individualises treatment for higher success rates.
7. Can be used in patients with comorbidities
May be an option for patients who have multiple medical conditions and who may not be able to take multiple medications.
Treatments are done at Connectomix clinics in comfortable chairs. Treatment does not require surgery, anaesthesia or numbing creams, making it a safer alternative to other treatments such as deep brain stimulation.
9. Adjunctive treatments
Can be used in combination with other treatments therapies to enhance the overall effectiveness of treatment.
10. Targeted treatment
Can be targeted to specific areas of the brain, allowing for more accurate treatment.
What can TMS treat ?
Mental health illnesses
Treatment of anxiety with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 12 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated its use for the treatment of anxiety related disorders with the majority demonstrating treatment benefit.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has approved the use of TMS for major depression in 2008. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has also approved TMS for treatment of depression.
At Connectomix, we integrate personalised brain maps in picking targets for our clients with OCD and thereby we are individualising our treatments.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has approved TMS for treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in 2018.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Treatment of PTSD with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 8 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of anxiety related disorders with the majority demonstrating treatment benefit.
Treatment of stroke with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 34 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of chronic refractory pain with the majority demonstrating treatment benefit.
At Connectomix, we have considerable experience with TMS based rehabilitation for neurological deficits such as weakness on one side and speech deficits.
Treatment of dementia with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 11 studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the cognitive aspects of Alzheimer’s disease and 5 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the behavioural and psychological aspects of dementia.
Results based on these studies demonstrate that TMS is potentially an effective therapy in the context of dementia.
Treatment of tinnitus with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 15 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of tinnitus. Results based on these studies demonstrate that TMS has shown positive results in terms of decreasing the severity of tinnitus. Results based on these studies demonstrate that TMS is potentially an effective therapy in the context of dementia.
Addictions and substance abuse
Treatment of addiction with the use of TMS is used as off label treatment. There have been at least 11 randomised controlled studies and more than 70 studies in total that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of addiction.
Studies have evaluated gambling, nicotine and substance abuse. Results based on these studies demonstrate that TMS has shown potential as a treatment for addiction.
At Connectomix we integrate personalised brain maps in picking targets for our clients with addiction and thereby we are individualising treatments. Furthermore, through use of navigated and robotic TMS we are providing our clients with cutting edge technology aimed at improving target accuracy and thereby increasing treatment success.
Ultimately, treatment of addiction at Connectomix is based on personalised brain medicine principles.
There have been at least 4 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of nicotine addiction. The majority of trials demonstrated reduced nicotine craving, cigarette craving and consumption.
The majority of trials demonstrated reduced nicotine craving, cigarette craving and consumption.
There have been at least 12 studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of cocaine addiction. The majority of studies demonstrated decreased cocaine craving and use.
Chronic refractory pain
Treatment of chronic refractory pain with the use of TMS is used as off-label treatment. There have been at least 11 randomised controlled studies that have evaluated the use of TMS for the treatment of chronic refractory pain with the majority demonstrating treatment benefit.
What are the side-effects?
TMS has been employed as a treatment for many decades. It is a well-tolerated treatment with very few patients experiencing side-effects to the extent where treatment is discontinued. Nevertheless, as with any medical treatment, it can have potential side-effect.
Most common side effects include, but not limited to;
- Facial twitching
- Muscle twitching – You may experience uncomfortable or painful muscle twitching at the site of stimulation. Should this occur inform the Connectomix technician so that the treatment parameters can be adjusted in order to make the treatment more comfortable.
- Tingling sensation
- Lightheadedness or mild headaches – Headaches or light-headedness are also reported post treatment – these symptoms are usually short lived and respond to simple pain killers.
- Some sleepiness
- Seizure – The most serious known side effect is a seizure. The risk is extremely small with modern equipment, nonetheless it is possible. Should you have a history of seizures you must alert your referring specialist and the Connectomix technician. Should a seizure arise, the Connectomix technicians have been trained to manage this situation.
- For patients with pre-existing bipolar disorder, there is a small risk of the emergence of mania following a therapy session. Should you experience symptoms of mania, alert your referring physician immediately.
Side effects are short term and do not pose long term threats to patient health.
Connectomix personalised brain mapping services
Learn more about Connectomix personalised brain mapping services.
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