TMS Therapy Uses

TMS Therapy Uses

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy uses a pulsing magnetic field to stimulate neurons in the brain. TMS has FDA clearance for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in those aged 18 and older. When thinking about the pros and cons of TMS therapy, you may also want to consider its potential uses. Research suggests that it could also treat additional mental and physical health conditions.

Why Is TMS Effective?

TMS therapy stimulates brain activity to reverse the brain hypoactivity associated with depression. Research indicates that depression reduces activity in the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) — TMS helps restore this activity. By stimulating this part of the brain, TMS relieves depression symptoms.

According to research, TMS may also treat a variety of health conditions through this approach. The DLPFC manages functions such as motivation, working memory and cognitive control. It also modulates areas of the brain like the cingulate cortex, hippocampus and amygdala. Restoring brain activity in the DLPFC could impact any of these related functions and areas of the brain. Outside of the United States, some countries have government approval for the use of TMS for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

For patients with depression, TMS can work as a supplement to other treatments or an alternative to medication. According to clinical trials, about 65% of patients with medication-resistant depression find improvement after TMS application. Nearly one-third of the people who report results have full symptom relief. Patients who experience this remission may need to receive TMS about every year for their symptom relief to continue.

Many studies support use of TMS for treatment of OCD, thought his remains an off-label treatment. By targeting the areas of the brain related to OCD symptoms, TMS can improve symptoms as much as OCD medication. Studies show that patients can experience ongoing relief after they stop receiving TMS. TMS may work to relieve OCD symptoms in patients when they don’t respond to first- or second-line treatments.

Research suggests that a type of TMS therapy called intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) could reduce PTSD symptoms. This treatment shows promise for relieving PTSD-related depression and improving function in everyday life. Certain types of TMS therapy have government approval for PTSD treatment in Brazil and Europe. Smaller studies support the use of currently available TMS to treat PTSD as an off label treatment.

Low-frequency TMS treatment may help with the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). By sending slow pulses to the right side of the brain, TMS could promote an increase of inhibitory signals sent to the left side. Studies show that this approach can reduce the effects of GAD long-term. In this research, patients showed continuing improvement months after they received TMS therapy.

Bipolar depression has a similar source to major depression (also known as unipolar depression), making it a potential candidate for TMS. Research suggests that TMS can treat bipolar depression using a similar approach to TMS depression treatment. TMS therapy for bipolar-related mania does not have as much research, but your Principium doctor can help you find a combined solution.

Neuroscientists are currently exploring TMS therapy’s potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. They will need to show more results before TMS can receive FDA approval as an Alzheimer’s disease treatment. If TMS does show positive results in the future, it will provide a new option for this difficult-to-treat disorder.

A case study suggests that TMS could improve decision making in patients with hoarding disorder. The DLPFC influences parts of the brain related to value-based decision making. As a result, TMS that stimulates the DLPFC could help people with hoarding disorder make item-related decisions.

Treatment with TMS could improve the excitatory/inhibitory imbalance in the brain that causes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms. ASD has many potential TMS targets in the brain that affect its inhibition and excitation functions. In other words, TMS may help patients with ASD balance the firing of signals in their brain for symptom relief.

Stroke-related brain disorders may also respond to TMS therapy. Right now, neuroscientists mainly use TMS to understand how the brain recovers after a stroke limits someone’s mobility. In the future, TMS could have use in stimulating this recovery.

In addition to treating mental health conditions and brain disorders, TMS could also treat physical conditions such as migraines and chronic pain. A TMS therapy called single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) shows promise in studies on patients with migraines. Meanwhile, repetitive TMS (rTMS) may also reduce the severity of chronic pain.

Preliminary research on ADHD and TMS treatment show that TMS therapy could relieve the focus issues associated with ADHD. However, additional studies are needed before neuroscientists can make any conclusions on the treatment’s effectiveness for ADHD. Studies indicate TMS can improve working memory and cognition.

Reasons to Choose Principium Psychiatry for TMS Treatment

Our patients choose to receive TMS therapy at Principium because of our:

  • Innovative approaches: At Principium, we provide state-of-the-art treatments such as TMS and ketamine therapy. We select the services we offer based on scientific evidence.
  • Team of experts: Our staff includes experienced professionals that specialize in a wide range of treatments and conditions. They work with leading universities and medical centers across the country.
  • Convenient and beautiful location: Principium offers four convenient locations; two offices in Manhattan, one near Grand Central Station and another office along Wall Street. In addition, we have an office in Greenwich Connecticut and Santa Monica California.

TMS Therapy for OCD Treatment

When you’re diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you’re usually presented with two treatment options: talk therapy and psychiatric medication. While many people find some relief in participating in these practices, it’s rare for someone with OCD to achieve full remission from their symptoms with these alone.

At Principium Psychiatry, we want to help you safely explore other OCD maintenance options. One such treatment for OCD is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

Signs and Symptoms of OCD

OCD is present in about 1.2% of the world’s population. It’s often characterized by:

  • Obsessive, repetitive thinking and worrying
  • Compulsive behaviors one feels compelled to complete to relieve anxiety

The worrying and compulsive behaviors can form a cycle: A distressing thought occurs, the person performs a behavior to soothe the anxiety raised by that thought, and then the cycle repeats when the thought occurs again. Causes of OCD range from genetics to traumatic events to environmental stressors, and the illness is often accompanied by depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Psychiatric medication
  • Lifestyle changes

Sometimes, even in tandem, these options may not be enough to rewire your brain and ease symptoms the way you’d like. That’s where TMS comes in.

Efficacy of TMS as a Treatment Option

The FDA first approved TMS therapy for OCD treatment in 2018. Before this, TMS also proved effective in treating other conditions, as shown by its 2008 approval for treating depression.

It’s a noninvasive method for stimulating the brain using magnetic fields directed through a wire coil. The wire coil is inside a device that is put on the patient’s head. During a TMS treatment, the coil delivers short electrical shocks to the brain, affecting how it functions. TMS can also treat conditions like migraines and epilepsy — the device targets different areas of the brain depending on the illness it’s aiming to correct.

But does TMS work for OCD? Like all psychiatric treatment options, the answer to this question varies from person to person. During FDA-approved studies, though, almost 40% of patients dealing with treatment-resistant OCD cited a reduction in their symptoms. So, if your current OCD treatment isn’t working as well as you want it to, why not try something new to ease your symptoms?

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Our TMS Services

The team at Principium Psychiatry offers two methods of TMS therapy for OCD. You’ll start with a brain mapping session, which will help your physicians determine your treatment parameters. Then, you’ll participate in one of these protocols:

  • TMS treatment: During a normal TMS treatment, we’ll deliver short electrical impulses to your brain for a few seconds at a time, followed by short periods of rest throughout your session. You may feel some tapping or hear clicking noises, but the process shouldn’t hurt.
  • Theta Burst TMS treatment: Also known as the SAINT protocol, this type of TMS therapy gives you shorter blasts of stimulation at a higher frequency to reduce treatment time.

Depending on the treatment you and your physician decide is best for you, your therapy can last anywhere from a week to six weeks. For each session, you’ll come into one of our offices and relax while we administer the electromagnetic pulses. Each session lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. Though you shouldn’t experience any pain throughout it, some people reported a minor headache following their first few treatments.

Request Your Appointment Now

Principum Psychiatry is here to ensure you can find effective treatments for OCD and other mental illnesses, even when they’re outside the norm for your diagnosis. Dr. Cohen and the rest of our treatment providers are committed to hearing your concerns and doing everything we can to create a sound solution.

If you’re ready to see what psychiatric treatments are available for you, book an appointment with us. We’ll answer all your questions about TMS treatment for OCD and help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

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