Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST) is a novel form of convulsive therapy that relies on creating a therapeutic seizure. MST was developed as a means of improving the side effects found with using ECT, so that more patients may benefit from the procedure without suffering the significant side effects. Both ECT and MST rely on creating a therapeutic seizure, but do so in different ways. While ECT applies electrodes to the person’s head to pass electrical current across the brain, MST relies on the same principles as TMS. A pulsating magnetic field is generated to pass through the skull with little resistance and induces an electrical current with precision to a targeted area of the brain. The induced current created is much stronger than one found in TMS, and allows for a proper therapeutic seizure to be achieved.
Clinical research has reported that MST offers the same clinical efficacy as ECT but without the side effects. This may be due to the enhanced control MST provides by the ability of focusing stimulation only to the targeted area and reducing any external stimulations that may take place with ECT. In addition, a faster recovery of orientation is reported for patients when compared to ECT.