Can TMS help treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

TMS help treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Can TMS really help to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Let’s have a look at what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is and how TMS might be the possible solution to help treat it. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety where the individual experiences regular thoughts or ideas driving them to do a repetitive type of behaviour. Repetitive behaviours may not be a problem until they start to interfere with everyday life. The obsessional thoughts can start to cause distress in the individual and compulsions take up more time interrupting with work and social life. The obsessional thoughts and associated behaviours do not make any sense but the individual is locked into a pattern and find it very difficult to break their compulsive behaviours.

Below is a list of examples of compulsive actions that are commonly experienced by people with OCD:

  • Repetitive hand washing
  • Ritualised Cleaning routine
  • Positioning of objects in a very specific way
  • Checking locks on doors/windows, or checking appliances are switched off over and over

So how does TMS help treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

Many who suffer severe OCD and their families, understand, that despite the best medical care and psychological care, often OCD symptoms are resistant to treatment and continue to cause a huge burden and reduce functioning significantly. This is why Sydney TMS is very excited to be able to offer an rTMS treatment protocol for patients with treatment resistant OCD.

rTMS technology applied for OCD uses a slow pulsing setting applied to the front of the scalp to alleviate obsessive thinking within a matter of a few months. Treatment sessions are only 30 minutes and patient have to attend at least three sessions weekly. A full course of treatment requires 30 sessions so can be completed in 6 to 10 weeks.

Before seeking rTMS for OCD, it is recommended that patients optimise treatment with medication and cognitive behaviour therapy. rTMS can be added to existing treatments to provide added relief of symptoms.

Are you suitable to receive TMS treatment?

Research in TMS is limited to adults, so patients under the age of 18 are not recommended to have TMS at this time. Sydney TMS will continue to monitor the research in younger patients. The service will be extended when the approved research becomes available. Similarly there is limited research about the safety of TMS in pregnant women.  At this stage we do not offer TMS to those during pregnancy. To read more please refer to our those who are suitable to receive TMS on our website.

Because TMS requires the generation of electromagnetic fields it is not suitable for some patients with metal implants. This includes electronic medical devices or implants particularly near the head region. Patients with active or inactive implants (including device leads). As well as deep brain stimulators, cochlear implants, and vagus nerve stimulators. It is considered safe to offer TMS to patients with cardiac pacemakers. This is because it is sufficiently far away from the magnetic field to be effected.

For more information about TMS treatment and OCD please contact the team at Sydney TMS on 1300 177 144.

For further reading on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder please follow this link.