Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

The stimulation of the body with a magnetic field leads to vasodilation and so improves the oxygen uptake and the metabolism of the cells. Additionally, the ion transport which is activated by the magnetic field, enhances different chemical processes. These processes have positive influences, particularly to the immune- and nervous system.

So treatment with magnetic fields are successfully established in different fields including the therapy of wounds, in particular bone fractures, rheumatic diseases, acute and chronic pain, inflammations, for the stimulation of lymphoid drainage, muscular spasm, gastro-intestinal diseases, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, migraine as well as mental diseases such as sleep disorder and depression.

Research finds that the brains of autistic people differ in one structure from those of not autistic people. These structures are called minicolumns and describe little columns of neurons are disseminated all over the cortex of brain and represent the smallest information processing unit of the brain. Notable in the autistic brains was that these minicolumns were smaller and coincidental tighter as it is normally the case. This implicates different problems, as the networking of the single minicolumns applicable depends on the size of the neurons especially in long distances. For the people concerned, that means that the communication in short distances works fine, whereas the connection with the parts of the brain on the long distances can be impaired.

In accordance with these findings, extraordinary giftedness is often found areas that require local processing in specific regions of the brain. For example, this includes mathematic capabilities, an exceptional orientational capability as well as a good memory for places and locations or a photographic memory. On the other hand, autistic individuals have often difficulties in tasks where complex interactions of different parts of the brain are required, as is the case in all social interactions. So they have deficiencies in the interpretation of mimicking and other forms of communication or emotion expression.

Another problem that occurs due to the modified structure of the minicolumns is the often observed oversensitivity towards sensational impressions. Normally, the well linked minicolumns provide a widespread network of so called inhibitory neurons. These are nerve cells which decrease the activation other neurons and so allow us to suppress non relevant sensational impressions and thoughts. That is why it is simple for non autistic persons to concentrate on specific sounds, such as the voice of a friend at a party and at the same time fade out the background music and the voices of all the other guests.

In case this network is not so well established, it is easy to imagine that it is much more difficult for the person affected to ignore disturbing noises and stay focussed on one task. When the stimulus suppressing network is impaired, the single areas of the brain cannot protect themselves sufficiently and their processing capacity is diminished.

As it was found in different studies, the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation leads to a better development of the described minicolumns and their network. This renders an increased interaction between the different areas of the brain, so they can now cooperate much better. It also provides a better protection against disturbing impulses as the inhibitory network is strengthened in its characteristic and function. The review of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in scientific studies reveals that patients showed fewer symptoms of hyperactivity, sensory overload and repetitive  behaviour. Other studies find a decrease of tantrums.

The improved synchronisation of the different areas of the brain also makes it easier for the patients to sit still and to follow requests.  It was also investigated whether improving network of the different areas of the brain leads to a decrease in the described extraordinary skills of some people with autism (for example in mathematics). These remained unaffected.