On 27th December 2019 The Independent Neurorehabilitation Providers Alliance (INPA) published a paper, which reviews the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to improve outcomes following a traumatic brain injury. The paper was published in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation by Taylor and Francis, and is the result of a joint approach by INPA to promote high standards and best practice in the treatment, management and care of people requiring rehabilitation following brain or spinal injury.
‘The use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) following traumatic brain injury (TBI): A scoping review’ and was developed by INPA’s Research group, which is led by Professor Nick Alderman and Dr Martine Stoffels, who has a special interest in this area and academic colleagues Associate Professor Claire Williams and Dr Aimee Pink from the Swansea University.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a neuromodulatory tool currently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as a treatment for depression. INPA’s considers the application of rTMS after traumatic brain injury focussing on its effect on a number of common issues. It also considers whether an optimal and safe rTMS protocol can be determined, and makes recommendations for future clinical and research work.
The paper concluded that rTMS holds promise as an effective treatment is effective for depression, dizziness, central pain, aphasia and visual neglect which often follow brain injury. However, for prolonged disorders of consciousness and other cognitive outcomes rTMS is less effective. Most patients’ experiences did not show side effects however a few reported some, including a few reports of seizures. INPA recommends that more comprehensive guidelines and further reporting of rTMS parameters and procedures are made.