Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Warning! This post is very old and may contain information or opinions that are no longer valid or embarrassing.
I sat down facing the machine with its hand-held coil pointed to my head and I started receiving few pulses of magnetic stimulation. Both doctors said almost at the same time "We reached the motor threshold." and they stopped cranking up the Amps. I asked for explanation. They said to me that my hand is twitching in reaction to the impulses. I tried to explain that those few twitches were voluntary and I made them. "Wait for the repetitive stimulation then." one of them said.
My right arm started twitching once per second, it felt strange. A machine taking control of my own hand movements. And no matter how I tried to resist it, it responds to the magnetic stimulation.
TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) is a noninvasive method to excite neurons in the brain. The excitation is caused by weak electric currents induced in the tissue by rapidly changing magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction).
Currently, TMS is used for research and in few centers for therapy.
What I received was repetitive TMS (rTMS) its effects outlast the period of stimulation and they are either excitatory or inhibitory. I got about 3 minutes of inhibitory stimulation on my dominant hemisphere. This way my right hemisphere would take a more leading role regarding motor activity.
I felt left handed for the couple of hours afterwards, but this might be due to suggestion. Or basically the repetitive stimulation exhausted my right hand. There was no objective test, I tried the TMS just for the fun of it.
I wonder if I will choose to stimulate my frontal lobes next time. They basically control behavior, judgment and personality.