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The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Device – (TMS)

Updated on April 16, 2012
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Ben is scientist, teacher, researcher and author who loves to help you to be more, do more and achieve more. He is an Amazon kindle author

TMS: an overview
TMS: an overview

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – (TMS)

The Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technique used to study any part of the brain in order to explore its function. For example, it can be applied in the study of the Broca's area of the brain the part which is largely responsible for speech production and articulation.

According to a report by Hannah Devlin a journalist from Times in the Eureka magazine of February 2010; the TMS technique was used by Dr Joe Devlin a Neuroscientist from University College to investigate how her brain engages in the activity of language. The TMS works according to this principle;

A particular region of the brain is knocked out in order to see what the volunteer can (or can't) do without it. It is administered through a large, key shaped paddle held to the surface of the head. TMS sends powerful magnetic pulses through their skull and into the brain cortex and has the effect of quick acting, short lasting stun gun.

The benefit of the TMS is that it has enabled neuroscientists to explore the working of different parts of the brain which were before now impossible; except for patients who had accidents and in cases where there was errors due to surgery.

In the world of neuroscientists the effect of the TMS is likened to a 'virtual lesion' that darkly hinting out the injuries that litter the subjects past. In oder words it enable the neuroscientists to create events that mimic the real situations like the effects of accidents or surgical errors on those parts of the brain. Hence, it TMS has opened a new platform for brain research.

The TMS according to a report from Mark Henderson - 'why my migraine have aura of inevitability', Professor Goodsby, a headache specialist in the Institute of Neurology in London, is exploring it's use as a potential for migraine therapy. Early trials show promising results, reducing headache pain when compared with a sham treatment. The principle of its action or efficacy was likened to the sophisticated trick of switching your computer off and on again, stopping the passage of "cortical spreading depression" and rebooting the brain.


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    • lemmyC profile image

      Ben 8 years ago from UK

      Lady_E Thanks. My background is Science, especially Biochemistry. But recently I've become interested in neurology- the brain, especially aspects of neurophysiology. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Hopefully, we wil be having more exciting things coming.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      Lemmy, did you used be a Brain Surgeon? Common now, spill the Beans.

      A very interesting Hub. It’s nice to know people are benefiting from TMS.