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Slowing Down Alzheimer's with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Just about to start her Senior year in the fall, Justyna Stukin, studies behavioral neuroscience and first learned about transcranial magnetic stimulation in class. Her interest in TMS sparked and she joined the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. 

In the interview, she explains what TMS entails. Mentioning that, "The main piece of equipment is an electromagnetic coil encased in plastic. It looks like a figure eight and emits a painless magnetic pulse. A technician applies the coil to specific parts of the brain depending on what they are treating. For example, depression impacts the prefrontal cortex, so the coil is placed there for that treatment."

She then goes on in talking about her research and, although she has never felt the treatment on herself, she describes that there is a physical sensation that feels like something hard is tapping your head, she has had a lot of intensive training to learn how to use and operate the device. 

She then goes on to explain the process at which the resting motor threshold is to determine a safe intensity of stimulation. This is done by sending simgle pulses to the part of the brain that is responsible for finger movement. Once the finger twitches during the stimulation, this is when the motor threshold is determined. This intensity can vary between patient to patient and within patients day to day. 

Through this experience she learned that nothing is one dimensional not even during research and that everything has tons of applications. She mentions that it is crucial to enter environments with an open mind since there are tons of opportunities in every field especially with TMS. 

If you would like more information about TMS and how to get treatment, visit our website or call us at (714) 867-7037. 

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