How is TMS different from ECT?

TMS uses a magnetic coil to stimulate brain regions. ECT uses electric current to induce seizure in the brain.


TMS uses magnetic pulses to cause neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to mend and build connections between the nerve cells – and targets only the small area of the brain that is understood to cause the symptoms of depression (the prefrontal cortex). This is a non-invasive treatment.

A session of TMS takes 30 minutes and you are able to go about your day as normal immediately afterwards, without any need to go into hospital or disrupt your usual routine.

ECT passes electrical currents through electrodes placed on the head to induce seizures. Although ECT patients are given muscle relaxants whilst under the anesthetic, it is common to wake up feeling achy as a result of the seizures. This is an invasive treatment.

ECT is more invasive than TMS and requires the patient to have a general anesthetic, which carries its own risks and restrictions

Because they work so differently, the patient experience for TMS is very different compared to ECT. This table gives a more detailed comparison.

TMS has been used since the 1980s and can be used to treat a large majority of patients living with depression and other mental health conditions.


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How does TMS works?

How does TMS device work? TMS delivers magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain. Pulses are delivered to the area of the brain that controls mood.
The brain region location of receiving rTMS treatment for depression and mood disorder

Magnetic pulse to ease the depression.

TMS treatment device uses magnetic pulse to ease depression.