ECT is an effective acute treatment for major depression, but it is highly invasive (causing seizure induction and requiring anesthesia) and has significant adverse effects. In contrast, TMS is also effective in patients with Major Depressive Disorder but it is non-invasive and has an excellent safety profile.
ECT and TMS both use applied energy to the brain to cause neural stimulation for relieving the symptoms of depression. ECT uses electrical energy applied to the whole brain, while TMS uses magnetic energy applied only to the left prefrontal cortex.
Unlike ECT, TMS does not require anesthesia, sedation and the production of a convulsion, does not result in adverse effects on memory or concentration, and has an excellent safety and tolerability profile.