Short for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy, TMS remains a mystery at this point, though we currently have some theories that involve understanding the biology of depression. The left side of the brain isn’t as active during the depression, resulting in reduced blood flow. Normally, this is treated using excitatory treatments that stimulate further brain activity, which means the patient receives therapy that directly targets the inactive side of the brain. This procedure can be likened to TMS therapy, which explains why we’ve been able to rely on it to successfully treat patients.

Of course, as relevant as this link may be, there is inevitably something more complicated going on, as is the typical case with brain activity and treatments. The reason we know there’s something extra happening in the brain is that after 45 minutes of therapy, the brain activity level in a depressed patient returns to the low value it was before the treatment. Because the patient does improve, however, we are confident that excitatory treatments are on their way to becoming truly even more effective.