A summary of my TMS posts

Every day, I get questions about the TMS project I’ve gotten involved in at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. What’s that? It’s the use of high power magnetic fields to induce tiny electrical currents in the brain that can change the way we think.

TMS has been in the news recently because it just got FDA approval as a drug alternative for depression. Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, the director of the TMS lab in Boston, was one of the pioneers in the research that led to that approval, fifteen years ago.

Today, Alvaro remains on the cutting edge of neuroscience research with his work in autism. His scientists are using TMS on different areas of the brain to unravel some of the secrets of autism and how we think. It’s a remarkable journey.

I am often asked if I the stories I’ve written about TMS are in one place somewhere. Well, as of today, they are. Here you go:

This is my first blog post on TMS, from March of this year:

Here’s the story of my first actual TMS experience:

Here's the second:

And the third:

Here you can see some changes in me:

And finally, here’s a sort of summary of where we are this October:

There is a story, "seeing with a different eye," that one of the program participants wrote and allowed me to post.

Here are two more stories from the blog of Michael Wilcox, one of the other participants in the study.



The official site of the TMS lab is www.tmslab.org


Polly Kahl said…
This is a great idea - putting all the links together so we can read thru them sequentially. It will be interesting to see your progression through this unique experience.
Unknown said…
Isn't this what the concept of "labels" and/or "tags" is supposed to do?

To save you some work in the future, if you do some consolidation posts like this of links of yours and others (which has merit and is easy for the readers) you should make a special tag like "TMS Summaries" or something like that and then you can just send people to the link that "label" and it's one stop shopping.

And it's like you aren't going to all of a sudden stop posting about TMS...

There's an IMAX movie about The Brain and it follows one of the Tour De France cyclist who had a head injury and some of the things with neurons firing and stuff like that. Not only is it about the brain, but it's also about mechanical objects with wheels that help people propel themselves with a velocity greater than what they can achieve as an individual.
Do keep us informed about TMS. I am especially intrigued about its potential to treat depression without drugs.
Chris Eldin said…
This *is* a great idea! I'll have to come back. I've read most of hte beginning ones..
chillfaktor said…
Hi John, I've read your books and some of your blog articles and videos. Needless to say I'm very impressed by the results, and the changes you have experienced really shine through, even in your writing.

But for me the most important question is not the degree to which we can effect changes if we hook a brain up to TMS, but the degree to which we can make lasting changes which are sustainable.
I am sure the findings are very important to understanding autism, but what practical implications are there for us? I don't think there is going to be a pocket-TMS out anytime soon, and by the looks of it (please correct me if I'm wrong) this research is not going to find out how to make changes stick anytime soon.

So even though this is very exiting news and I love to hear about research in this area, for now it seems it's more of a window to a reality that could-have-been and a kick in the nuts.

Kind Regards
Paulene Angela said…
Thank you so much for your post, this is all very exciting news. I am a 100%+ believer that new connections are constantly being made in our brains and positive stimulation is the most natural and logical way forward.

My wonderful son of 15 years is between ASP and PDD-NOS. For the last year my husband, who practices Universal Energy, has been trying to stimulate my son's brain with quite positive results.
One of our interested fields is the zone of processing of Mental Arithmetic.

I was watching a video from the UC Davis Mind Institute, you might find this very interesting, the presenter Susan M. Rivera, Ph.D.
makes everything super clear.

Here's the link,


and now select ...
Children with Autism Show Differences in the Processing of Mental Arithmetic

Once again thanks for your posting and all the best for positive results.
Paulene Angela said…
I've just noticed you did not get the entire link, here it is again


Children with Autism Show Differences in the Processing of Mental Arithmetic

Presenter: Susan M. Rivera, Ph.D.

Affiliation: UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute

Date: August 10, 2006

Length: 1:17:11

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