Is there a future for therapeutic use of transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Jul;8(7):559-67. doi: 10.1038/nrn2169.


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has in recent years been used to explore therapeutic opportunities in a bewildering variety of conditions. Although there is good evidence that this technique can modify cortical activity, the rationale for its use in many of the conditions investigated so far is not clear. Here we discuss the effects of rTMS in healthy subjects and how it has been used in a number of neurological conditions. We argue that a better understanding of both the effects of rTMS and the pathological processes underlying the conditions for which it is used will reveal whether rTMS really does offer therapeutic potential and, if so, for which conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / therapy*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / radiation effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neural Pathways / radiation effects
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / standards*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / trends*
  • Treatment Outcome