Considering TMS for Bipolar Treatment in Brooklyn

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that is used to treat several conditions. It has grown in its significance as a non-invasive brain stimulation technique after FDA approval for treatment of conditions like depression and OCD. 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation works by placing a coil over your head connected to a machine that is controlled by a professional. That professional technician will locate specific areas of the brain based on what condition you are trying to treat and then send magnetic pulses into those deeper brain regions in order to stimulate better function and growth. 

Sessions are very short, usually no more than 20 minutes, there are no side effects other than mild discomfort the first few times at the site where the coils were placed, and it’s a non-invasive procedure which means you can easily incorporate sessions into your day without disruption.

But what is transcranial magnetic stimulation used for? This article will explore the diverse applications of TMS in medical treatment.

Treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with TMS

The FDA has approved TMS to treat anxiety, including major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to treat major depressive disorder. 

Literature reviews have found that those with MDD who undergo TMS have improvement for between 50% and 55% of participants, with remission rates averaging 30% of patients. Other literature reviews have concluded that TMS is effective at relieving the severity of symptoms and for one-quarter to one-third of cases, can offer complete remission.

TMS therapy for MDD was approved by the FDA in 2008, and since then, Imaging research has found that stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex offers the best improvement. 

Several clinical TMS sites have extended their research to those with treatment-resistant depression, for whom antidepressants were ineffective, and found that TMS worked. 

Managing Anxiety Disorders with TMS Therapy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to help those with anxiety disorders manage their symptoms. The FDA has approved the use of TMS for several conditions, with studies indicating that TMS can provide significant improvement with anxiety disorder symptoms in as few as five sessions

When TMS is used to treat anxiety disorders, coils are placed over the head and magnetic pulses are sent to specified regions of the brain where things like blood flow might be compromised. These magnetic pulses are able to encourage blood flow by stimulating blood vessels or neurons that are not properly firing. This helps to drastically improve symptoms and reduce the need to remain dependent on medication. 

Alleviating Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) using TMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS is used to treat OCD as well. In fact, sustained improvements come from using TMS for OCD within two weeks.

A recent review examined the use of TMS therapy for OCD, among other disorders, and concluded that while it does not work to permanently resolve OCD, nor should it be used in isolation, TMS offers great promise as part of an overarching form of care for OCD symptom management.

tms chronic pain treatment nyc

Addressing Chronic Pain Conditions with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to manage chronic pain conditions.  Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used to treat several types of chronic pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and other pain conditions. It can increase nerve impulse transmission through pathways that might not work properly and help promote anti-inflammatory molecules in the brain and the spine, which reverses a lot of symptoms in chronic pain conditions.

  • In 2015, researchers concluded that TMS can decrease pain severity for fibromyalgia.
  • Research has confirmed for over twenty years that TMS can be used for pain associated with chronic migraines. 

Tangentially, the use of TMS will work well as an effective depression treatment and anxiety treatment, which many people who have chronic pain conditions struggle with as well.

TMS as an Emerging Treatment for Neurological Conditions

In recent years, transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used to treat neurological conditions. For example, research indicates that it can be used to help treat dementia, Asperger’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and even ADHD. 

Exploring the Role of TMS in Stroke Rehabilitation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to help those with stroke recover some of their motor functions. Nearly 50% of those who have a stroke deal with significant depression, so the use of TMS to treat depression by targeting areas like the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can show significant improvement in depression symptoms. 

However, there is also evidence that TMS can help with movement-dependent recovery and improve motor skill learning, especially for the upper extremities and motor recovery.

After experiencing a stroke there is often an imbalance between hemispheres and this can interfere not just with movement dependent recovery but with motor cortex function. However, studies have found that TMS can change this, and improve motor function.

Investigating the Potential of TMS in Treating Substance Use Disorders

A lot of research has focused on the use of TMS therapy for addiction and found that when treating substance abuse, TMS sessions offer several benefits within the first few weeks. 

How does it work? Literature reviews have determined that when TMS is used to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, it can help:

  • Change the cues that would otherwise cause cravings.
  • Improve dopamine function in the brain.
  • Mediate response inhibition and control selective attention, which helps people stay more focused and avoid poor inhibition control.
  • Decrease cocaine and nicotine consumption.

Meta-analyses have reviewed the effectiveness of TMS in treating substance abuse disorders and found that it is highly effective, especially when used in conjunction with formal treatment like therapy, detox, and medication.

Other extensive studies have revealed that TMS offers short-term aid for those struggling with substance abuse, something that can be used on a regular basis every year or so to help reduce the risk of relapse. Given that there are no side effects associated with transcranial magnetic stimulation and no significant health concerns that would inhibit the use of this treatment, it is something that can be used regularly to help with long-term recovery.

Summing Up

There is great versatility of TMS as a treatment modality across various neurological and psychiatric disorders. If you are struggling with things like substance abuse, depression, or anxiety, consider further research and exploration into the potential uses of TMS in emerging fields of medicine as part of your treatment plan.