Procedure rTMS treatment
Within three steps we explain the rTMS program that TMS Center Europe offers. If you have questions regarding the rTMS program or the rTMS treatment, please contact us. We are happy to answer all your questions.
Step 1: Intake
When you contact rTMS International we will invite you for a quick-scan intake by mail. After the quick scan our therapists will have to fully understand your complaints and mental condition. The therapist can give you a good estimate of the success rate of the treatment, based on the quick scan. Not every form of depression or OCD is treated with the same success rate. For example, bipolar depression shows fewer promising results. Read more about the treatment conditions here.
Questionnaire and contract
When you wish to start with the rTMS program you will first receive an email with the intake questionnaire and the treatment contract wherein you can read the terms and conditions. The quick-scan and email are free of costs and without obligation towards rTMS International. When we received the signed treatment contract, we will start planning step 2.
Step 2: the EEG (Scan of the brain) (temporarily not available due to the corona pandemic)
rTMS treatment is completely safe after we have ruled out abnormalities in brain activity. In some cases, the brain shows some epileptiform activity, which is a contra-indication for rTMS treatment. The EEG assessment can be performed at rTMS International.
It is also possible to obtain an EEG from a professional in your own country. If you have EEG data that is not older than 5 years, it can be send to us by email in order to analyze it by our professionals. The EEG report needs to be completed with your personal data (date of birth, name, address, etc.) and signed by the expert that has conducted the EEG.
Step 3: first session
The rTMS treatment sessions are most effective when the sessions are done regularly within a short period of time. The first session can start after:
- The EEG shows no contra-indications
- We received the filled-out questionnaire
- We received the signed treatment contract
- We received a copy of your ID
Please send all documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring along during the first session. In the first session the therapist will take some time to get acquainted. We will use the questionnaire and the notes from the quick scan.
rTMS preparation phase
The rTMS stimulation usually takes about 20 minutes of the total session.
First, we need find the exact location on the head to stimulate. We do this by measuring your head and performing a calculation. After this we will establish the correct intensity for your brain. We use a dedicated protocol by stimulating the point where the thumb will react to stimulation on the head.
rTMS stimulation phase
The rTMS is performed by a magnetic coil that is placed above the head. The coil is positioned on the correct location and will start to administer short magnetic pulses. The feeling is often described as if someone taps your head with a pencil: not painful, but not pleasant either.
For optimal treatment results we advised to combine the rTMS stimulation with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT makes the treatment more effective. At rTMS International you can undergo CBT during the stimulation session with rTMS.
You are able to add rTMS sessions and continue treatment (CBT) with your own therapist.
After 10 sessions we measure the effect of the treatment. We use a questionnaire and the findings will be discussed with the therapist. If you notice progression, the results are promising, and we can continue. If there seem to be no improvement, we advise to cancel further treatment.
Frequently asked questions
- What is an Electroencephalogram (EEG)?
- An EEG is a method in which electrodes are placed on the head by means of a swimming cap to map your brain activity. Any deviations are noted by the EEC. The EEG is therefore used to determine if you have brain activity that could be dangerous to stimulate with magnetic brain stimulation. This is only the case with any epileptic activity. If the EEG shows that this is the case, a neurologist must first be consulted before treatment can be started.
To make a good EEG. use is made of conductive gel. After the EEG as much gel as possible is removed but a remainder will remain visible. Washing your hair at home once ensures that all the gel is gone.
- Do I need a referral from my doctor?
- rTMS international is a private practice. You therefore do not need a referral from your doctor for treatment at rTMS International.
- Is there a waiting list?
- You can always go to rTMS International for an introductory meeting within one week. Treatment can be started as soon as the EEG has been performed and there is no evidence of this.
- Why haven’t I heard of rTMS before?
- rTMs is a technique that was introduced in the late 1990s as a treatment for depression. Since then, scientific and clinical research has been conducted to determine the safety of the treatment and to investigate the most effective protocols. It has been established that rTMS is a safe method that, for a large proportion of clients, contributes to the reduction of depression and / or compulsive complaints. Various publications show that clients with the “therapy resistant” diagnosis responded positively to treatment with rTMS. rTMS has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) since 2008 and since 2017 a number of Dutch health insurance companies have reimbursed treatment under the supplementary insurance.
- Does rTMS treatment hurt?
- Does rTMS treatment hurt? Treatment with rTMS does not hurt and has few or no side effects. You sit in an easy chair and the coil that delivers the magnetic pulses is placed above your head. The magnetic pulses stimulate certain areas of the brain and decrease your depression and / or compulsive symptoms. Treatment with rTMS can cause mild tension headache after the end of treatment. This will go away on its own or after taking a painkiller
What can we treat?
A life without depression or OCD.