Understanding rTMS

September 8th, 2017

Newcastle Premier Health is pleased to have partnered with The London Psychiatry Centre – of Harley Street, London – a leading national centre of excellence, to offer an innovative treatment for depression.

We are thrilled to be able to offer patients in the North East repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), which has been approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of depression in adults.

We have launched this cutting-edge service in partnership with The London Psychiatry Centre, a pioneer of rTMS and which was a national advisor to NICE for the issuing of the guidance on rTMS to offer the treatment. The health specialist has also developed and researched protocols for its delivery with exceptionally high levels of efficacy.

What is rTMS?

rTMS, which is not widely available in the UK, works with your body’s natural processes to increase the number and frequency of electrical signals between nerve cells. It influences electrical brain activity through a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate an area of the brain that regulates mood. Because this stimulation is given at regular short intervals it is referred to as repetitive TMS, or rTMS.

As such, rTMS selectively alters activity in concentrated areas of the brain, regulating the flow of interactions between brain cells, to bring about desired effects that have been shown to relieve symptoms of mental health problems.

This safe and highly-effective treatment is an alternative to anti-depressant medication, with no side-effects. It has achieved success where drugs have failed, or perhaps are not an option.

The innovative treatment is carried out using state-of-the-art equipment, with each session lasting approximately 35-40 minutes and takes place 5 days a week, for 4-6 weeks.

Is there any research available?

Regarded as safe and non-invasive, some studies have reported that rTMS increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, responsible for stimulating ‘feel good’ and reward response.

Dr Alex O’Neil from the Royal College of Psychiatrists reportedly commented that 30% of patients who receive rTMS report reduced symptoms of depression, whilst others claim to be symptom free altogether.

However at The London Psychiatry Centre, in a group of 150 patients, 62% of patients who have been treated for depression with rTMS have fully recovered in an average of 4.3 weeks.*

Why is Newcastle Premier Health offering this treatment?

At Newcastle Premier Health we pride ourselves on offering a holistic and integrated approach to medicine, to treat a patient’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. We are therefore delighted to offer our patients this effective and safe intervention, and make it more widely available in the North East of England.

The launch of the new service comes at a time of continued growth and development for Newcastle Premier Health, as we have recently appointed a mental health nurse and clinical psychiatrist to the deliver the service, as well as an occupational health technician and a travel and clinic nurse. We have also moved to a larger, purpose-built facility in Dobson House, Regent Centre, Gosforth – all of which is part of our dedication to continually expand and improve our services.

You can read more on rTMS here or call us on 0191 605 3140 to book your treatment or speak to one of our specialists.

*This was presented as a peer reviewed poster at the RCPsych conference in June 2017.