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How can transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) be used as treatment for depression?

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation stimulates nerve cells in the brain, which can improve symptoms of depression, according to Mayo Clinic. As of 2014, the treatment is still very new to the medical field, so some factors are yet to be determined.

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Mayo Clinic reports that TMS was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008, and ongoing studies seek to discover the extent of its effectiveness and reveal any long-term effects, as of 2014. TMS uses an electromagnetic coil that is placed against the scalp near the forehead. Electromagnetic currents stimulate nerve cells in parts of the brain associated with mood and depression. TMS is usually considered an option after other depression treatments have not worked.

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