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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in order to improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders.  

TMS is currently FDA approved for Major Depressive Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. TMS is typically used when other treatments have been ineffective. TMS is a technique that applies magnetic pulses to the brain delivered by a coil which is placed on the patient’s head. The pulsed magnetic field induces an electrical current in the brain and causes activity in brain cells called neurons. Different coil types are used to induce different magnetic field patterns and how fast the pulses are delivered can determine how the brain changes in response. Stimulation pulses are typically applied at an intensity level that is customized for each individual patient.

Before having TMS, you may need a:

  • Physical exam and possibly lab tests or other tests.

  • Psychiatric evaluation to discuss your depression.

Tell your doctor or mental health provider if you:

  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.

  • You have any metal or implanted medical devices in your body.

  • Take any medications, including prescription or over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, vitamins or other supplements, and the dosages.

  • Have a history of seizures or a family history of epilepsy.

  • Have other mental health disorders, such as substance misuse, bipolar disorder or psychosis.

  • Have brain damage from illness or injury, such as a brain tumor, a stroke or a traumatic brain injury.

  • Have frequent or severe headaches.

  • Have any other medical conditions.

Dr. Linda Carpenter Interview

Dr. Linda Carpenter is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) at Butler Hospital. Dr. Carpenter completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, her MD from the University of Pennsylvania, and internship in internal medicine, a residency program in psychiatry, and a clinical neuroscience research fellowship at Yale University. She joined the faculty at Brown in 1997 and has continued her path as a physician-scientist investigating the neurobiology of, and new treatments for, major depression and other mood and anxiety disorders. She led a 10-year, federally funded translational research program focusing on the development of laboratory biomarkers signaling risk for mood/anxiety disorders and understanding the impact of early life stress on adult biology. Dr. Carpenter has also conducted a number of randomized clinical trials sponsored by industry and NIH, investigating investigational drugs and devices for treating depression, including Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). She is the founding Director of the Butler Hospital TMS Clinic and Neuromodulation Research Facility where she treats patients with pharmacoresistant depression and works with a variety of Brown-based research faculty who incorporate noninvasive brain stimulation techniques into their clinical research. Dr. Carpenter’s current research projects involve using imaging and EEG biomarkers to optimize and individually customize TMS therapy for depression.


Click the links below to find out more about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.





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