College of Psychiatry Australia – Guidelines for rTMS

The Royal College of Psychiatry Australia, or RANZCP have guidelines for rTMS therapy. Please click here for details of the guidelines available. rTMS RANZCP GUIDELINES

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a therapeutic, medical procedure for the treatment of major depression. There is strong evidence for its therapeutic effectiveness in psychiatric disorders. rTMS is emerging into general psychiatric practice in Australia and New Zealand but is currently only available in a few centres.

The College of Psychiatry Australia recommends treatment access in both public and private settings. rTMS involves the focal application of magnetic energy to the cerebral cortex. By inducing small electrical currents, rTMS can alter brain functioning for therapeutic purposes. The treatment does not involve seizure induction or loss of consciousness. During the procedure the patient is completely alert. Anaesthetic is not required during TMS therapy.

Some key points highlighted in the College of Psychiatry Australia guidelines include:

  • Treatment with rTMS can occur in combination with psychological therapies or medications
  • rTMS should be offered in psychiatric clinical settings. Also, appropriate protocols, training and equipment are required to appropriately select patients with major depression.
  • The screening and selection of appropriate patients is essential. This should be conducted by a psychiatrist with appropriate training and expertise in rTMS.

Safety and TMS

The research to date indicates that TMS is relatively safe. Patients are carefully screened for relevant exclusions. They are also checked for seizure risk and treatment is given within recommended safety parameters. With appropriate screening, the overall risks are low.

Ongoing research

The College promotes ongoing research into rTMS. Examples of ongoing research include different patient groups like children/adolescents and other psychiatric conditions.

The position statement is also available on the College of Psychiatry Australia website.

To find out more about our approach Sydney TMS please feel free to peruse our professional research information. Our general information pages are also helpful in finding out more about how TMS can help depression.