rTMS stands for “repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.” This is commonly abbreviated to just “TMS” but technically the ‘r’ is added to convey that the stimulation received is repetitive. Depending on the protocol, the patient will receive a stimulation for 4 seconds followed by a break and then stimulated again for another 4 seconds and again followed by a break until the treatment is completed.
So, this is why the ‘r’ is added to TMS to create rTMS. rTMS has been FDA approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder. The FDA approved treatment protocol for rTMS is the following:
Intensity: 120% of motor threshold
Frequency: 10 Hz
Train duration: 4 seconds (how long the stimulation is administered) at 10 pulses a second for a total of 40 pulses
The Intertrain interval or break: 11 second
Number or trains per sessions: 75 trains
The total duration of the treatment is 18 min 26 seconds with a total of 3000 pulses.
As you can see from above, the number of “trains” means the number of times that the patient is repeatedly stimulated. In the above FDA approved protocol, the number is 75 times. Thus, the reason why TMS is commonly given the ‘r’ before it as rTMS.
If you would like to learn more about TMS in general, you can continue to read on our site. If you would like to schedule for a free consultation with Dr. Tanner to discuss how TMS can benefit you, then please give us a call to schedule this. Dr. Tanner can go over all of your questions and concerns about TMS treatment and therapy. If you would like to get started, you can find our contact information here.