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Connectomix offers personalised brain mapstreatments

Connectomix aims to make personalised brain mapping technology and its application through diagnostics, transcranial magnetic stimulation and neurosurgical planning accessible to Southern 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 (TMS) 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.”

Navigated TMS
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.

With this accurate representation, we are able to specifically identify target areas on the brain’s surface that were highlighted by the personal brain mapping and stimulate these areas to a sub-centimeter accuracy.

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 TMS 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 TMS treatment.

Benefits of TMS

Medication free treatment

TMS treatments are medication free. TMS can be used alongside your other treatment plans.

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.

Stopped at any time

You can stop TMS at any time without any side effects or withdrawal symptoms. TMS treatment is non-addictive.

Minimal side effects

TMS has minimal side effects, compared to medications.

TMS does not cause any physical changes such as weight gain, hair loss, scalp damage or sex related difficulties.

Non-invasive treatment

TMS does not require any admission into a hospital or clinic, no overnight stay, no anesthesia, no numbing creams or drips.

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.

Navigated TMS with personaised brain mapping individualises treatment has higher success rates.

What can TMS treat ?

Mental health illnesses

Anxiety

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 the use of TMS for the treatment of anxiety related disorders with the majority demonstrating treatment benefit.

Depression

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 depression.

At Connectomix, we integrate personalised brain maps in picking targets for our clients with OCD and thereby we are individualising TMS 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.

At Connectomix, we integrate personalised brain maps in picking targets for our clients with OCD and thereby we are individualising TMS treatments.

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.

Stroke rehabilitation

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.

Dementia

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.

Tinnitus

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.

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 TMS treatments. Furthermore, through use of navigated and robotic TMS we are providing our clients with cutting edge TMS technology aimed at improving target accuracy and thereby increasing treatment success.

Ultimately, treatment of addiction with TMS at Connectomix is based on personalised brain medicine principles.

Nicotine

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.

Alcohol

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 side-effects associated with TMS ?

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, TMS 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 during TMS. 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 of TMS 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 TMS therapy. 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.

Have more questions on TMS?

Visit our FAQ page for more questions and answers on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

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