Interview with Dr. Rachid about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive therapy that can help alleviate a broad range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies have shown the approach is especially effective against treatment-resistant conditions; it provides much-needed relief when other therapies have failed. However, this therapeutic approach remains little-known, including how it works and what it can treat. To provide clarification, we’ve interviewed one of the world’s top experts in the field, Dr Fady Rachid.

About Dr Fady Rachid

Dr Fady Rachid is a renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist with over 24 years of TMS experience. Since 2007, he has been treating patients in his centrally located Geneva clinic. Dr Rachid has become a world leader in the field. His patients with unipolar and bipolar depression have seen impressive response rates of 60% and remission rates of 45.5%

What is TMS?

TMS is a state-of-the-art medical treatment in which a pulsating electromagnetic field stimulates certain areas of the brain. When the pulses are applied repetitively for a pre-defined period, the practice is known as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).

In either case, these electromagnetic pulses can modulate neural network activity, providing much-needed relief for certain neuropsychiatric conditions, for example severe anxiety.

When was TMS discovered?

The research-driven practice was first discovered in 1985 and has now been approved by prestigious medical bodies worldwide. Governments in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland promote and reimburse TMS for numerous neuropsychiatric conditions. 

Is TMS recognised by the wider medical community?

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved TMS to combat TRD in 2008, and more recently for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The method has been highly-regarded by the medical community ever since.

What is TMS most commonly used for?

TMS is primarily used to address treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric conditions and has shown a very good potential for treating early onset Alzheimer’s. TMS can provide much-needed relief when a patient doesn’t respond to a traditional pharmacotherapy and/or psychotherapy approach.

What is a treatment resistant condition?

In this context, “treatment-resistant” is when the patient doesn’t respond to traditional treatments, typically medication and/or psychotherapy. However, TMS can also serve as a powerful alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of their prescribed medication.

Does TMS hurt?

TMS is an entirely non-invasive and overall painless form of treatment. The patient can sit comfortably during the entire treatment regime, perhaps watching TV or reading a book.

Have studies shown TMS to be effective?

Past studies have found a response rate of 50% or more after 21 days of treatment. A Carpenter and Colleagues study, for example, found high-frequency rTMS resulted in a significant improvement after six weeks of treatment, with a response rate of 58%, versus 13% with medications in patients who have not responded to a second anti-depressant (STAR-D study).
TMS is an entirely non-invasive and overall painless form of treatment. The patient can sit comfortably during the entire treatment regime, perhaps watching TV or reading a book.

Dr. Fady Rachid

What other conditions can TMS help with?

In recent years, TMS has proven effective against a broad range of other neuropsychiatric conditions. Examples include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), schizophrenia-induced auditory hallucinations, substance addiction, tinnitus, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depersonalization disorder as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Can anyone undergo TMS treatment?

There are several situations where a patient may not be eligible to undergo TMS. These contraindications include: metallic objects in the head, ocular prosthetics or cochlear implants, pacemakers, neurological diseases that impede cognitive abilities, such as traumatic brain injuries, or intracranial tumours. Also patients with past neurosurgical procedures, severe cardiovascular disease, the inability to provide informed consent, or a history of seizures of epilepsy are not recommended to undergo TMS treatment.

How can I get started?

Whether you’ve got a treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric disorder or you struggle with the side effects of your current medication, get in touch with Dr Rachid today. His non-invasive outpatient TMS treatment programme has been shown to achieve outstanding results.
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