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Can TMS be Used in OCD Treatment?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be an effective OCD treatment. The procedure is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for depression, and it has been proven to be effective on other mental health and behavioral issues like anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
It is a non-invasive treatment that involves placing a magnetic coil on a patient’s head. The coil is used to deliver magnetic pulses into the person’s prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that controls mood. Stimulating nerve cells here increases activity in the region and the release of serotonin – a mood-regulating neurotransmitter.
TMS therapy as an OCD treatment
TMS therapy uses magnetic fields like those used for magnetic resonance imaging machines. The procedure involves repeatedly sending pulses into the patient’s brain, stimulating neurons in the area.
When a person has OCD, parts of their brain go into an overactive state. This is known as hyperconnectivity. When this occurs, activity and communication increase in multiple areas of the brain. This is what leads to compulsive behavior and intrusive thoughts caused by OCD. Hyperconnectivity also leads to increased anxiety.
TMS therapy can be an effective OCD treatment, even when other treatments like medication and psychotherapy have proven to be ineffective. TMS treatments last anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. That standard treatment plan includes getting up to five treatments each week for up to seven weeks. Most people notice reduced symptoms of OCD following their treatment.
Magnetic pulses are delivered into a patient’s brain during TMS therapy by placing a device that contains an electromagnetic coil on the person’s head. Turning the device on sends magnetic pulses past the skull into the area of the brain being targeted.
There is no need for sedatives or anesthetics during TMS therapy. Patients are awake and seated during the process. They are given earplugs to protect their ears from the loud clicking sounds made by the TMS device.
Patients do not feel pain as magnetic pulses interact with neurons in their brains. They simply feel a tapping sensation on their head whenever a pulse is emitted. TMS therapy does not come with major side effects. Some patients experience a mild headache following the treatment, but that usually goes away within minutes.
TMS therapy can significantly improve the quality of life of those dealing with OCD and it can reduce the symptoms of the condition. Some patients find themselves no longer dealing with the symptoms of OCD following TMS treatments.
Most patients report noticeable improvements within a couple of weeks of starting their treatment. Many notice having fewer compulsive urges and obsessive thoughts as they progress through their treatment.
Improve your quality of life
OCD often leads to people wasting hours thinking about irrelevant things or acting on compulsive behaviors. Ready to free yourself from this burden? Call or drop by our Massapequa clinic to learn more about how TMS therapy can be used to treat OCD, depression, and other behavioral issues.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: OCD Treatment in Massapequa, NY.
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