Brainsway Inc., a Jerusalem, Israel firm that develops deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) machines, has announced receiving approval from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to conduct a trial of its product to test whether the system can be used to treat cocaine addicted patients. Additionally, the company plans to test its device in a Berlin hospital as a treatment option for people with symptomatic multiple sclerosis.
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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive technique used to apply brief magnetic pulses to the brain. The pulses are administered by passing high currents through an electromagnetic coil placed adjacent to a patient’s scalp. The pulses induce an electric field in the underlying brain tissue. When the induced field is above a certain threshold, and is directed in an appropriate orientation relative the brain’s neuronal pathways, localized axonal depolarizations are produced, thus activating the neurons in the relevant brain structure.
Standard TMS coils are limited to activation of only cortical brain regions, up to a depth of about 1.5 cm. Hence when treating depression with a standard TMS system, the limbic system, which is related to mood regulation and is generally deeper than 1.5 cm, is only indirectly affected, through secondary processes involving cortical structures, which are directly activated by TMS and then affect the deeper limbic system structures.
The unique technology of Brainsway Deep TMS System enables direct non-invasive activation of deep brain structures.
Deep TMS is a breakthrough in the search for a non-invasive approach for treating common brain disorders. Deep TMS uses a unique, patented coil design to produce directed electromagnetic fields that can induce excitation or inhibition of neurons deep inside the brain. The treatment is non-invasive, with no significant side effects, no systemic effect (in contrast to drugs), and no need of hospitalization or anesthesia.