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TMS Therapy for OCD: How Does It Work and Benefits It Offers

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Stats show that approximately 1% of Westlake’s population has OCD. The treatment of OCD with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is gaining in popularity.

OCD is a personality disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, images, or impulses causing marked distress that is not pleasurable or voluntarily produced. The symptoms result in the individual performing repetitive behaviors to relieve this anxiety. These behaviors are known as compulsions.

People who suffer from OCD have found it very difficult to get relief from their symptoms. While there are medications available that help reduces some of the symptoms, they can have unwanted side effects on physical health.

Also, while some people show improvement with medication, only about half of all patients have significant relief of symptoms when undergoing chemical treatment. This is why more and more OCD patients are turning to TMS Therapy in Westlake as an alternative treatment method.

How Does It Work?

TMS for OCD involves placing an electromagnetic coil against the forehead near the area of the brain thought to be causing the symptoms. A rapidly changing electromagnetic field is passed through specific points in this region, which stimulates nearby neurons and changes connectivity between areas of the brain associated with anxiety.

These changes reduce symptoms by stimulating nerve cells in a particular part of the prefrontal cortex involved in fear extinction, mood regulation, and compulsive behavior.

Though TMS is generally well tolerated by patients, most physicians prefer to start treatment slowly while monitoring patient response. As with any new medical procedure, specific side effects may occur during or after treatment.

These include:

  • Numbness or tingling sensations on face or scalp
  • Transient lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Temporary headache behind one eye or ear that lasts for a few minutes
  • Temporary sleep disturbances, including difficulty in falling asleep

TMS is quite effective with OCD patients. It has also been found to reduce compulsive behaviors (such as compulsive checking of locks) in people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder without causing adverse effects like those noticed in chemical treatment methods.

TMS Therapy: Just What The Doctor Ordered?

One in Five adults in Westlake has depression. Doctors may turn to TMS therapy in Westlake as an option to move forward with treatment for OCD patients who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders.

The treatment may be effective in depression patients who don’t respond well to medications.

But What Exactly Does It Entail?

TMS Therapy is a non-invasive procedure where an electromagnetic coil is placed against the patient’s scalp to send magnetic pulses directly to areas of the brain that are thought to influence mood.

These pulses stimulate specific regions of the brain, especially those involved in mood regulation and concentration. The process is painless for most OCD patients (although some may feel mild, transient discomfort at the treatment site) and doesn’t require anesthesia or sedation during each session.

It can be performed on an outpatient treatment basis after appropriate physical and psychological screenings have been conducted.

During the first phase of TMS Therapy, which usually lasts about six weeks, physicians will prescribe daily sessions five days a week, lasting 20 minutes each. During these sessions, patients will sit in a chair while they receive TMS.

Typically, several coils are placed around the patient’s head to deliver the magnetic pulses to specific points on the brain’s surface. The electromagnetic pulse passes through the skull and into areas of nerve cells that doctors believe play a role in depression.

When stimulated with an electric current, neurons emit chemical signals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters may boost mood in people suffering from depression.

Successful treatment with TMS Therapy typically reduces depressive symptoms that enable patients to go about their daily lives.

However, not every OCD patient is a candidate for this treatment, so talk to your doctor if you want to learn more about it.

Benefit 1: TMS Therapy for OCD is a practical, non-drug treatment for people who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Benefit 2: This new type of therapy is beneficial in patients with depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Benefit 3: The great thing about TMS Therapy for OCD is that it’s easy on the body compared to chemical treatment methods.

Benefit 4: The treatment is also free of side effects because it does not use drugs to work.

What to Know

Though TMS Therapy for OCD is quite adequate, the FDA still hasn’t approved its treatment of these conditions.

However, many doctors and scientists believe that this therapy will eventually become a widely-used method in mental health treatment because of its ability to produce antidepressant effects without adverse side effects.

So if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety disorders, don’t despair just yet! With TMS Therapy for OCD getting more attention worldwide, who knows what new research might bring?


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