|Image from NeuroStar|
On review of the literature, there is cautious optimistic hope that this treatment may actually work, but due to limited study population sizes, more study is needed before an outright recommendation can be given. However, there seems to be little harm in trying it out other than the cost which can be high and range from $6,000 to as much as $10,000+ depending on the clinic and protocol used (not covered by insurance given research status and lack of FDA approval for this purpose). Reported (rare) side effects include seizures, headache, pain, vibration sensation, twitching, etc. There is also one lawsuit that TMS allegedly caused facial paralysis in one patient.
Generally speaking, rTMS treatment of tinnitus entails application of 1-Hz to 10-Hz rTMS daily for several weeks (most protocols employed 1-Hz). The rTMS is applied to the temporoparietal region which overlies the auditory cortex of the brain for about 30 minutes per session.
At this time, psychiatrists are the main physicians who have and employ rTMS (to treat depression).
Perhaps the largest network of rTMS treatment centers in the United States is NeuroStar. They do provide an online physician zip-code locator.
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