Dr Anrie Carstens has partnered with the founder and owner of Connectomix, Dr Christos Profyris (neurosurgeon), to help bring TMS services to patients living in Gauteng.

We currently have 2 clinics, one in Johannesburg and a second in Pretoria.

As a dedicated TMS clinic group, Connectomix Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Clinics make use of cutting-edge robotics, brain navigation & brain mapping technology, to achieve both highly sophisticated and personalised TMS treatments.

What is TMS?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of certain neurological or psychiatric conditions such as depression. TMS is typically used when other treatments have been ineffective.

TMS explainer image with brain map

What is TMS used for?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States approved the use of TMS for major depression in 2008 and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in 2018. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom has also approved TMS for depression. Other conditions treated with TMS include:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Chronic refractory pain/Fibromyalgia
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Addiction
  • Neurological conditions (e.g. stroke)

How does it work?

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against your scalp near the front of your head. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in processes such as mood control. It’s thought to activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity or suppress overactive areas.

What are the risks involved?

Generally, TMS is considered safe and well-tolerated. Unlike vagus nerve stimulation or deep brain stimulation, TMS does not require surgery or implantation of electrodes. And, unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), TMS doesn’t cause seizures or require sedation with anaesthesia.

Side effects

Side effects are generally mild to moderate and should improve shortly after a treatment session. Possible side-effects include:

  • Headache
  • Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation
  • Tingling, spasms or twitching of facial muscles (transient)
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue

Are there any contra-indications?

  • Seizures: there is a risk of 1 in 80 000 of experiencing a seizure while undergoing TMS treatment. If this happens, treatment will immediately be stopped.
  • Mania: TMS has not been shown to improve symptoms of mania and may even worsen mania.
  • Certain metal or implanted medical devices in your body. Examples:
    • Aneurysm clips or coils
    • Stents
    • Implanted devices e.g. cardiac pacemaker
    • Implanted vagus nerve or deep brain stimulators
    • Cochlear implants for hearing

What are brain maps and how is it used in TMS?

The brain is infinitely complex. A digital map of the brain is known as a “connectome”.

Brain mapping includes a variety of techniques and modern technology to scan and map the structure and function of the brain. Functional resting state magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and artificial intelligence (AI) is then used to produce a brain map. Every brain map will be unique to the person scanned. The brain map in turn is then used as tool to plan individualized, target-directed TMS.

How do I start the process?

If you are interested in TMS, please feel free to make an appointment by calling 010 753 1676 or sending an e-mail to lerroy@connectomix.com. For further information, you can visit our website at https://connectomix.com.