Advanced Training at Harvard’s DEACONESS HOSPITAL

This year, a small group of scientists and physicians from various countries met at Harvard Medical School’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation laboratories to teach and learn about a futuristic way to study and treat the human brain.

The majority of attendees were neuroscientists already conducting studies with TMS. Also present was Bruce Welch, MD, an American psychiatrist, stating:“I think the ratio of researchers to clinicians attending the fellowship reflects where TMS is right now: currently a very useful tool for how the brain works with promising future as a tool to treat neuropsychiatric illness”

TMS Fellows and Professors at Deaconess’ Neurology Dept.


In the photograph on the right, Dr. Welch is stimulating the left cerebral hemisphere of his doctor/subject causing his right index finger to predictably move. Stimulation of other parts of the brain produces movements or perceptions that would be associated with that part of the brain


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
uses powerful electromagnetic energy to affect brain functions...

Dr. Welch is utilizing a device that locates where the electromagnetic stimulator is relative to his subject/professor’s brain. He is looking at the three dimensional magnetic resonance imaged brain of his subject while following the real-time location of the electromagnetic stimulator via the three dimensional, vectoring image that is guiding the doctor in the placement of the electromagnetic stimulator.

An EMG sensor records the specific facial muscle that is the target of the aimed stimulation.


The yellow tip of the image (right) points to the exact part of the brain that stimulated the muscle’s response.



Using the same principles, Dr. Welch prepares to stimulate the “visual cortex” of his subject. The resultant splashes of light (phosphenes) are better seen if the subject’s eyes are covered. “We had no hesitation volunteering as each other’s subject for TMS, nor did the faculty and staff “, says Dr. Welch “It appears to be very benign, and didn’t hurt a bit.”

“This technology is definitely going to be a part of the future of applied Neuropsychiatry. It is not only a fantastic new way to map out brain functions, it is already being used to successfully improve treatment-resistant (psychotherapy and medication therapy-resistant) Major Depression and Obsessive compulsive disorder. “

Other continuing education completed by Dr. Welch at Harvard include...

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Addiction Medicine

Psychiatry: an intensive weeklong update and review

Psychopharmacology: 32-hour independent learning course


Reported by:  Alexander Milman, 2002  


Dr. Welch

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