Do you or someone you know suffer from depression?

Are medications and other therapies not working?

Altum Health can help.

Brain Stimulation is a proven treatment for depression and other disorders
when medications and therapy have failed.

  • Did you know 1 in 3 people suffering from depression do not respond to medications and other therapy?
  • Another option is now available: a non-invasive form of brain stimulation known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS
  • rTMS is a Health Canada-approved treatment for depression and is also being studied as an effective treatment for other psychiatric and neurological disorders.
  • Unlike medication or psychotherapy, rTMS works by using powerful, focused magnetic field pulses to directly stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive or overactive, gradually returning them to healthy patterns of activity.
  • The magnetic stimulation is delivered under MRI guidance to ensure that it reaches the intended areas of the brain.
  • rTMS has been around for 20 years, and results have shown greater than 50% success rates with very little downside.

What Are The Advantages?

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A good option if you have not responded to medication, or if you have been unable to tolerate medication

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Does not require anaesthesia or sedation so you can usually continue with your daily activities immediately after treatment

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Unlike Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), rTMS has no known side effects on memory, attention, concentration, or intellectual function

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Few side effects.
Some may experience mild discomfort during the stimulation session itself

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A course of treatment can be completed in as little as 3 weeks

Is rTMS Right For Me?

  • Do you have symptoms of depression?
  • Have you not responded well to medication or counselling?
  • Contact us for further information

How Do I Get Started?

The first step is a visit to the clinic for an initial assessment to determine if you are a good candidate for rTMS treatment. The initial assessment takes about an hour, during which time you will meet with a physician and clinical staff who will talk to you about your symptoms, review your treatment history, and answer any questions you have about rTMS.

rTMS In The Media

See how brain stimulation gives new hope to a veteran suffering from PTSD:

Meet Toronto Western Hospital Psychiatrist and rTMS Expert, Dr. Jonathan Downar:

How Does rTMS Work?

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a technique that uses powerful, focused magnetic field pulses to stimulate the neurons of the brain.

There are many different stimulation patterns that can be used for rTMS, each with slightly different effects on brain activity. For example, higher frequency stimulation increases activity in the brain to help decrease symptoms of depression.

The rTMS Device

An rTMS device has a stimulation unit that generates brief pulses of strong electrical current. The stimulation unit is connected to a hand-held electromagnet called a coil, which contains loops of wire. The most commonly used rTMS coils are roughly the size of two half-bagels side by side.

The coil converts the electrical current into magnetic field pulses that are as strong as those in an MRI scanner, but focused into an area just a few centimetres across. When the coil is placed against the surface of the head, the magnetic fields are powerful enough to pass through the scalp and skull to stimulate the area of the brain that lies directly underneath.

To get longer-lasting effects, pulses of stimulation need to be applied repetitively over time – this is the ‘r’ in rTMS. rTMS can be used to either increase or decrease the activity of the targeted brain region, depending on the pattern of stimulation that is applied.

Over time, this form of stimulation strengthens the connections between neurons and increases the activity of the target region. This can be useful in treating disorders such as depression that involve underactivity in certain brain areas.

A full course of treatment takes about 20-30 sessions lasting between 2 to 3 weeks. The daily frequency and length of treatment is individualized to your specific requirements.

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