rTMS for OCD - Southern Colorado TMS

Can Deep TMS help treat OCD?

Is your obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) taking over your life? When your history with OCD treatments is extensive and full of more disappointments than successes, it may be time to try a new treatment option—one that targets and stimulates the inactive areas of your brain.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive treatment for OCD that reactivates areas of the brain with little or no activity, reducing the symptoms that result from this inactivity. One type of TMS is deep TMS, which is FDA-approved for the treatment of OCD.


What is Deep TMS?

As its name suggests, deep TMS penetrates deeper into the brain than repetitive TMS (rTMS).

This deeper penetration allows deep TMS to stimulate the reward and motivation pathways in the brain, which are found in the anterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain approximately four centimeters deep in the forehead region.

In comparison, rTMS penetrates only 1.5 centimeters into the brain—deep TMS gets significantly deeper.


OCD: A Brief Overview

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder that combines ruminative thoughts (obsessions) and the actions that soothe them (compulsions). It can be a time-consuming disorder that also creates significant distress for the person affected.

Some of the commonly tried treatment options for OCD include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychopharmacology, exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP), and lifestyle changes.


Deep TMS for OCD

When the first-line treatments for OCD appear unsuccessful, deep TMS is ready to step in.

Deep TMS is able to reach the anterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain that are associated with OCD. Once it reaches these areas, it lets out an electromagnetic field that stimulates the target area, helping to regulate neural activity.

OCD is one of the conditions that deep TMS is FDA-approved to treat; deep TMS is also the first non-invasive device cleared by the FDA as a treatment for OCD.

A multicenter study found that deep TMS was a highly effective OCD treatment. Even more impressive was that the study found more than 35% of treatment-resistant OCD cases finally achieved a response, meaning deep TMS offers a treatment option for cases that have thus far known only disappointment.

Another study found that nearly 60% of those undergoing TMS for OCD saw a response.


A Perfect Combination

Deep TMS does not have to be a solitary treatment, and many people see success when it is combined with other OCD treatments.

Deep TMS is a safe treatment option for OCD with minimal side effects, and none that make using other treatment options a hazard. As such, it is safe to use with other therapies and may even be what is needed to jumpstart another treatment’s success.


Receive Deep TMS at Southern Colorado TMS

If you’re interested in how deep TMS can help you overcome your OCD, reach out for more information or schedule an initial appointment where we can go over your unique situation and determine if deep TMS is a good choice.

With the opportunity to treat OCD that has proven unresponsive to other treatments, you have nothing to lose just by seeing if deep TMS could help. Who knows, it may even be what finally steers you onto the road of mediating your OCD.

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