Tinnitus is a sensation or ringing in the ears. It’s a common problem to all and it affects 1 in every 5 people. Tinnitus is not a disorder itself, but a symptom of a more serious health condition like ear injury, circulatory system disorder or hearing loss.
Symptoms of tinnitus are often associated with ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking or hissing. For many suffering from this condition, it makes their lives bothersome. Treatment methods for tinnitus often mask the noise or lessen the sensation to make it less noticeable.
TMS as a Possible Way to Cure Tinnitus
Transcranial magnetic stimulation proved as a potential alternative treatment for tinnitus. It induces electrical stimulation of cortical neutrons and it focused magnetic field over the surface of the brain. The magnetic pulses are delivered repeated and a process called repetitive TMS. The low frequency of r TMS shown to alleviate tinnitus perception and it will inhibit the cortical activity in the tinnitus. Its effectiveness of neuro navigated and its effects on the patients with chronic tinnitus using this method of treatment employing an optimization technique in the laboratory.
How TMS Can Help
One particular placebo-controlled study shows how TMS can effectively treat tinnitus. The magnetic field as in microseconds relatively weak and diminishes with distance from the coil. The pulse waves can be delivered at low frequencies that tend to decrease or increase neural activity under the coil. This aim the direct the stimulation of the superficial cortex in a deeper brain structure and its structure in the opposite cerebral hemisphere may be affected by TMS through connecting neural pathways.
Several studies also show how TMS can treat tinnitus patients using low-frequency magnetic pulses applied in the temporal lobe. The session usually lasts for about 30 minutes once a day for 3 to 10 consecutive days.
Some use functional imaging with neuronavigation for choosing the place of treatment based on asymmetrical cortical activation. It targets the left superior temporal lobe in all cases or the other side for the tinnitus. The targeting technique is beneficial for the results that obtained 50% of patients who receive this cure. The effects have been reported to persist 6 months in some other cases and most treatments have demonstrated tinnitus suppression effects last only a few days to a few weeks depending on the response of the patients.
There are several studies showing that tinnitus disorder may have been proposed in a spontaneous otoacoustic emission, thalamocortical dysthymia and maladaptive cortical reorganization due to peripheral injury.
How TMS Works
The repetitive TMS induces electrical stimulation of cortical neurons facing the magnetic pulses in the surface of the brain through a stimulating coil. The usefulness of TMS treatment depends on the materials, physiologic and anatomic variables and stimulating parameters. Health care professionals meticulously calculate the intensity, frequency, duration and time in each session to efficiently directing the excitation of the inhibitory neuron.
Immediate results of TMS treatments depend on the frequency and inhibitory effects on the cortex. The motor cortex shows low-frequency stimulation to gives excitement intermediate effects, and its long duration did monthly. The less duration of the neurobiological mechanisms is involved the low frequency is given in the temporal cortex commonly treat the tinnitus.
This low frequency is applied over the parts to reduce tinnitus by inhibiting activity under the stimulating coil. The imaging techniques will navigate the stimulating coil over the parts within the temporal cortex that will increase metabolic activity. The rational give rise to empirical observations. The treatment of tinnitus used in the combinations of increase and decrease frequency stimulation that goes in the frontal and temporal cortex. The burst frequency will be applied to the cured of tinnitus patients and the burst frequency also applied in the tinnitus patients that may activate brain cell neurons more actively.
A single treatment of this procedure tends to reduce tinnitus disorder for a short period of time. However, treatment efficiency also improves the more a patient undergoes TMS treatment. All the tinnitus patients who undergo TMS treatment show an improved response in the 3 days session of therapy. TMS may provide an effective treatment in normalizing the oscillatory activity or altering the balance activity in brain system that is connected to auditory areas.
What is OCD?
Medical professional describe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a mental health problem that affects people of all ages. It often occurs when a person gets stuck between a cycle of obsession and compulsion behavior.
Obsessions are characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts or urge following severe and distressing feelings. Meanwhile, the behavior is often followed by compulsions in which a person engages in behaviors to alleviate to decrease the feelings of distress.
Most people experience obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors at some point during their lifetime. However, it does not mean it’s a part of an OCD problem. In order to have OCD, the cycle of obsession and compulsions becomes so extreme that it interferes with the normal daily activity. The obsessive and compulsive behaviors consume a lot of time that it left the person almost immobilize.
What are Obsessions and Compulsions?
Medical experts characterize obsessions as thoughts, impulses and even images that occur repeatedly outside the person’s control. People suffering from OCD consider these thoughts as disturbing and in most cases, these thoughts do not have valid reasons. Usually accompanied by uncomfortable and intense feelings, people with these obsessions feel those things ‘have to be done in a very particular way.’ For people suffering from OCD, these obsessions are time-consuming and take most of their time away from other important activities in their lives.
Available Treatments for OCD
Conventional treatment for OCD typically comprises medications and psychotherapy. Unfortunately, prolonged ingestions of prescription drugs often lead to drug tolerance or worse drug addictions. With the discovery of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation technique efficacy for depression, it offers a safe alternative treatment for other mental disorder.
An Alternative Treatment for OCD
TMS is a non-invasive method of producing great results which are very well tolerated by many patients. First developed during the mid-1980s, TMS has become the focus of many neuroscience studies and clinical applications. The Food and Drug Administration first approved the use of TMS for treating depression in 2008. Several years after FDA also approved the use of ‘deep TMS’ for depression and two additional devices. Many of these studies show positive results and scientists are now delving into the possibility that TMS can also be an effective treatment for patients with OCD.
TMS is a simple procedure that involves placing a small device directly on top of the head. Medical professional targets the prefrontal cortex of the brain which often associated with mood regulation. TMS machine produces electromagnetic pulses that passed through the scalp targeting certain areas in the brain. It stimulates the inactive brain areas while suppressing the overactive region which results to better mood and behavior.
The flow of the electromagnetic pulses through the device stimulated neurons in the brain-altering its activity levels. Scientists linked these neurons activity to mental disorders including OCD. There are several indications that repetitive TMS or rTMS can improve the psychological well-being of patients with OCD as the procedure can lessen depressive symptoms that often go along with OCD.
Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Scientists are also looking in the efficacy of deep TMS as another method of treating OCD. Deep TMS uses an H-coil which creates magnetic field penetrating more deeply into the brain. As it can affect greater brain region and stimulates more brain neurons, it shows a lot of great potential in treating mental disorders like OCD.
The FDA both approved the use of rTMS and dTMS for treating major depressive disorders. More studies are being conducted to prove its efficacy for OCD and other mental illnesses. Getting these procedures requires proper and thorough medical assessment from medical health professionals. Depending on the severity of the disorder, they can recommend the best possible method for the patient. Either way, both TMS technique offers safe, reliable, and effective treatment for OCD without severe adverse effects often associated with prescription medications.
TMS Side Effects
There are no known severe adverse effects of TMS. Medical health professionals consider the method as safe when used in accordance with its established guidelines. TMS machines emit electromagnetic pulses like those in MRI, and there are certain limitations for using the device. People with implanted metallic objects, like pacemakers, bullet fragments near the head, deep brain stimulators, aneurysms coils, facial tattoos, and other objects implanted near the head are prohibited using TMS.
TMS is typically done inside the doctor’s office as an outpatient procedure. Patients can immediately resume their daily activity right after undergoing TMS. They may feel a slight tingling in the head, sleepiness, and headaches which usually improved after each treatment session. Doctors usually advise patients to undergo series of treatment sessions. Treatment sessions vary from one patient to another, but usually, have 5 sessions a week within the duration of 4 to 6 weeks.
Around 65 millions of people around the world suffer from the neurological disorder known as epilepsy. In the United States alone, it affects about 3 millions of Americans.
Epilepsy relates to our 500 genes and hereditary has some factor in developing the disorder. The low threshold is more vulnerable to triggering seizures in adverse reaction or in high threshold has a low capacity to seizures. A higher threshold means a person will less likely to have seizures.
The probability someone has epilepsy is fairly low; which generally means that epileptic parents will not give birth to epileptic children. An estimation of acquiring epilepsy by 20 years old is about 1% or 1 in every 100 people. In case of genetics, people who have epileptic parents may have an increased risk of 2% to 5% of developing the disease.
Epilepsy can be a recurrent activity of the brain seizures and experts characterized it as a chronic disorder or it can be a sudden electrical movement in the brain. Two types of seizures are seen first, general seizures the whole brain activity affected. Second, partial seizures or a part of the brain is affected which can last for a few seconds without realizing it happening.
Seizures that are characterized as mild will not be recognized for it usually last just a few seconds. Some can distinguish with several effects such as spasm, muscle twitches in a longer period of times. While strong seizures can cause loss of consciousness of this has great effects like memory loss.
Several factors come into play in triggering seizures including having a high fever, trauma such as an accident that affects the head or brain, hyperglycosuria or low sugar level or even alcohol withdrawal.
What triggers an epileptic seizure?
Situations and some conditions in life and other factors such as sleeping disorder, diseases like fever, over fatigue or stress, taking alcohol, some drugs that can trigger seizures, overeating or lack of eating or some food ingredients that can have chemicals to triggers seizures.
Developing epilepsy or identifying the exact triggers is hard to distinguish. It may be a combination of different factors. A good way to identifying such triggers needs undivided attention of keeping in touch in different activities of the patients, concerning what are the situations happened, or through the smells, unusual sights, factors that accumulate stress, eating habits, sleeping habits and how the overwork manifested in the whole day.
You can also use your seizure journal to determine if your medications are working. Note how you felt just before and just after your seizure, and any side effects.
Through keeping records, it may help to determine what kind of medicines are going to take, as well as document to effects on the patient before and after. It may be useful in adjusting your medications or exploring other treatments.
As a common neurological disorder, epilepsy comes in various forms. Treatments include many antiepileptic medications that can control seizures well. However, these medications are not for everyone, some people suffer frequently from the adverse effects of these drugs. Some medical professionals often recommend surgery for patients with uncontrollable seizures. But surgeries is an invasive procedure and not suitable for all people. Today, the medical community knows too well the need to develop a safer alternative treatment for epilepsy.
TMS is Safer
With the success of TMS in treating the major depressive disorder, many believed that it can be a safer alternative treatment for epilepsy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is now advisable and in demand procedure in treating seizures and offers a safe way and non-surgical way of methods of treatment. Research studies that it can be effective down to the brain for possible treatment; it reduced magnetic currents to modulate the brain activity to lessen seizures.
TMS for epilepsy will reduce seizures frequency compared to other treatment. It gives a good quality of life and enhances one brain capabilities in seizures into normal life condition. Brain electrographic tests give a brain a tendency an antiepileptic medication for all types of seizures and against its side effects.
Even Experimental Tests are Safer
Experiments of TMS can lessen the seizures compared to other available conventional treatments. As of the present, there are 4 of trials regarding TMS. Researchers are able to attest that TMS doesn’t have life-threatening side effects compared to other medications or procedure. The only notable side effect is a headache which eventually eases out. During the course of experimental research, TMS proved a safer and affordable way of making a good quality of life. TMS gives another light of hope for people suffering from epilepsy.
Millions of people worldwide suffer from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and the unpleasant side effects of conventional antidepressant medications make the experience even more excruciating. Some of the most common adverse effects of these medications include irritability, sleep disturbance, nausea, fatigue, constipation, and sexual dysfunction. Even though these drugs come in strict and high dosages, they fail to relieve depression symptoms in more than half of the patients.
Fortunately, with the invention of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, people suffering from the disorder can have better options for treatment. More and more people are switching to TMS therapy as their main treatment to fight MDD.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of TMS in 2008 as an alternative treatment option for MDD. This state of the art depression treatment consistently shows excellent results in treating depressive disorders even for severe cases.
TMS is a type of brain stimulation therapy using electromagnetic wave pulses which targets specific brain region (left prefrontal cortex) associated with depressive disorder. The technique stimulates underactive neurons while suppressing the overactive regions, thus rebalances the brain chemistry. As a result, it regulates mood that helps improve sleep quality and behavior with minimal side effects.
Once the patient undergoes TMS treatment, sessions will usually last for about four to six weeks in a series of five sessions per week. Each treatment session usually last for about 40 minutes and the patient is kept fully awake and alert in a very comfortable setup. Healthcare professional place a coil on top of the patient’s head near the forehead as the electromagnetic pulses targets the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The painless yet effective magnetic waves travel into the brain with a standard depth of 2.5 centimeters. Usually, patients feel nothing during the TMS session, but there are some cases patients can feel a slight tapping on the scalp.
Since TMS does not involve any medications or surgeries, patients can watch TV or listen to music during the treatment sessions. Patients can immediately resume their daily activity following the treatment session.
Side Effects of TMS
This advanced technology targets a specific area of the brain for optimal results without increasing risks. As a non-invasive and non-systemic treatment method, TMS does not have any adverse effects and side effects are minimal. Many clinical studies supported this notion; TMS side effect is all well tolerated with only a few minimal side effects that tend to dissipate and transient as the session continues.
Some of the known side effects of TMS include:
- Discomfort where the magnet was placed – some patients reported having scalp irritation with mild to a moderate intensity where the coil was placed during the TMS treatment
- Dizziness – during the first few treatment session, patients may feel dizziness but reported to subsides as soon as the session ends.
- Lightheadedness – In rare occasions, patients may feel lightheadedness along with a dizziness and mild headache but soon dissipates after the first few sessions.
- Mild to a moderate headache – perhaps the most common side effects of TMS, but just like the other side effects, patients reported having improved after TMS treatment.
- Slight tingling sensation – few patients reported feeling slight tingling sensation in the head near where the coil was placed. But this gradually subsides after the first to two weeks of sessions.
Risks of TMS
As great as the TMS treatment for patients suffering from MDD especially to those who failed several times in the conventional treatment method, TMS isn’t for everyone.
There are some contradictions in using TMS. The machine uses electromagnetic waves similar to what an MRI produce and there are certain limitations. Patients with ferromagnetic, conductive, and other magnetic sensitive implants in their heads and other non-removable metallic implants cannot undergo TMS treatment. As well as patients with pacemakers, implanted electrodes/stimulators, bullet fragments, aneurysm clips or coils, and cochlear implants can have serious injury or death if they undergo treatment.
It is important to have a thorough medical assessment and other appropriate cautionary measures should be taken before considering TMS treatment. Some patients may have increased risk of seizure based on medical or genetic history. Patients should always follow strict guidelines and medical advice during the entire treatment sessions. Taking any medications should be first consulted with the health care provider as some can cause tinnitus and may increase the risk of seizure. Up to now, there are no reported incidences of TMS causing tumors or any type of cancer. It does not interfere with memory or concentration.
Depression is lethal disease, depriving a person to fully experience the joy of living. Even with antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, many people still live in the shadows of deep despair. Undergoing TMS therapy can bring back the joy of living and having those missed opportunities of precious moments with loved ones back.
For a consultation or to set up an appointment for TMS therapy in near Palm Beach Gardens, contact us right away.
Many experts now consider depression as a major health issue. It affects more than 14 million American adults every year. Medical experts believed that it will be the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. About two-thirds who suffered an episode will at least have another episode during their lifetime. Depression is an incapacitating illness and treatments methods are often ineffective or intolerable because of its adverse side effects.
Current antidepressant medications and therapies failed to at least a third of people suffering from depressive disorders leaving them with inadequate treatment options.
TMS as an Alternative Depression Treatment
TMS therapy is a relatively new non-invasive procedure that delivers highly focused magnetic pulses to a specific brain region called the left prefrontal cortex. It stimulates the inactive areas of the brain associated with depression. These electromagnetic pulses are similar to the magnetic field of an MRI procedure. The rapid bursts of magnetic energy passed through a coil and directly to the brain excite neurons which rewire the brain to improve mood behaviors.
As a non-invasive procedure, TMS does not involve any major surgeries, insertion of intravenous lines or any kind of medications that may harm the body. There is no sedation or anesthesia involved during TMS session treatment.
An Effective Treatment
Over recent years, experts have discovered newer treatment parameters and more precise targeting locations for TMS. Several studies show that TMS can be an effective treatment not only during the course of 4 to 8 weeks sessions but also having these improvements persist beyond that time.
How TMS Works
TMS uses a computer program connected to a small electromagnetic coil which delivers short but rapid bursts of magnetic pulses directly on the left prefrontal cortex of the brain. However powerful these electromagnetic pulses, it does not affect the entire brain. The electromagnetic pulses of TMS can reach about 2 to 3 centimeters into the brain right underneath the treatment coil.
This treatment coil is placed on top of the patient’s head that believed to be linked with mood regulation.
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As electromagnetic pulses reach deeper into the brain, they produce tiny small electrical currents. These electromagnetic currents activate neuron within the brain which believed to release important neurotransmitters.
In October 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of TMS treatment for the major depressive disorder. This revolutionary treatment option received approval for its safe and effective therapy, particularly for treatment-resistant patients.
One of the studies about TMS shows that the procedure was a significant alternative method to preclude impending relapse in 32 of 38 patients or about 84%. This strongly suggests that the efficacy of TMS is seen in the majority of acute treatment-resistant patients. The reintroduction of TMS later in the medical management of depression can safely and effectively prevent relapse.
No Major Side Effects
TMS does not have any major side effects unlike its counterparts of conventional depression treatments. This new innovation does not produce common side effects like memory loss, sleepiness, sexual problems, or weight gain. It serves as an ideal major depression treatment because it does not elicit side effects of conventional medications like drug abuse.
As a non-systemic procedure, it does not require any sedation or implantation of other depression treatments like those of deep brain stimulation.
Today, TMS is widely acclaimed for its treatment of major depressive disorder but other studies are underway to prove its efficacy to other mental disorders. Different types of research are being conducted each year to explore possibilities of TMS as a treatment for a wide range of different brain disorders like Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Cognitive Impairments, and Tinnitus.
More than 14 million American adults suffer from clinical depression. According to researchers, by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability in the world. Around two-thirds of people suffering from depression will have another episode of the illness during their lifetime. Existing treatment options often lead to severe side effects. In time these medications will lose their effectiveness in treating depression. These will eventually lead to a lack of adequate treatment options.
What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS?
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is a newly found advance treatment for resistant depression. The US Food and Drug Administration of FDA approved TMS for clinical depression that can no longer treat with previous conventional antidepressant medications and therapies. Patients who suffer from drug-resistant treatments and medications can benefit well undergoing TMS therapy.
The medical community approved TMS because of its non-invasive procedure. TMS does not require any sedation, anesthesia on its depression treatment. It’s a simple procedure which conveniently performed right inside the doctor’s office under their supervision. Patients are kept awake and fully alert during each treatment sessions.
As a non-systemic and does not include heavy doses of drugs. Also, because TMS is a non-pharmaceutical therapy, it does not entail any drugs to circulate throughout the body. Since TMS does not involve any medical procedure or drugs, it does not have side effects associated with antidepressant medications like weight gain, nausea, sleepiness, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction.
Initially, TMS was used as depression treatment but recent studies show that this procedure can also treat different brain disorders. Doctors used TMS to treat a wide range of mental disorders like generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), tinnitus and cognitive impairments.
Some of the benefits of TMS include:
TMS active a large area of the Prefrontal Cortex
TMS delivers highly focus magnetic field pulses to the prefrontal cortex of the brain – to stimulate the area of the brain associated with depression. The procedure produces short bursts of magnetic pulses through the scalp and it triggers the neurons locally as it targets the areas of the brain. The pulses which the TMS machine produces are similar to what the MRI imaging scan emits. As the TMS machine produces these pulses, it stimulates the deeper and broader area of the brain linked to depression.
An effective depression treatment
Many can attest to the excellent efficacy of TMS therapy. Several studies support the effectiveness of this state of the art technique. During the 4 to 8 weeks of TMS treatment phase, clinically depressed people show a promising recovery that persists into the long term. The success of TMS treatment grows steadily over the years as newer treatment parameters have been discovered along with strategic targeting in the brain’s area. Even for people who undergone electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, they show significant recovery from depression.
Shorter treatment time
The average treatment for TMS therapy lasts for about 4 to 8 weeks. During this time, patients can already notice great improvements in their overall well-being. Studies show that the improvements noted in the patient lasted for several years without any significant relapse. This saves a lot of time and money for both the providers and the patient. Compare to antidepressant medications and therapies, TMS offers a safe and effective treatment for depression.
Other Benefits of TMS
Unlike the conventional depression treatments, TMS therapy does not produce systemic side effects like sedation, nausea, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, dry mouth. There are no reports of either memory loss or inability to concentrate which are both links to antidepressants.
Several clinical trials show that TMS therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients who do not respond to previous antidepressant medications. TMS therapy offers very few side effects which are generally well tolerated by most patients. The most common side effect of TMS includes a slight scalp irritation and mild headache during the first week of treatment but will eventually subside.
Nothing says “something is wrong with your body” like pain. This primal sensation is what has kept us alive as a species and the brain does what it can to ensure that we feel them properly. Our nerves do a great job of delivering messages to the brain to make sure we are aware that something is damaged.
That’s not always the case though. Nerve and brain damage can sometimes cause the brain to feel pain even though nothing is particularly wrong with the area. One of these cases of chronic pain is called Neuropathy.
Neuropathy and Pain
There are many cases of Neuropathy and other chronic pain issues. But the most common reason why it happens is due to nerve damage, or issues with the way the brain perceives pain. There are treatments for these, including drugs such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioid-type pain relievers. These treatments are proven to work time and time again, but like all drugs, they have their own share of issues and drawbacks. One such drawback is toxicity due to constant exposure to the drugs. There’s also nerve surgery which is effective, but is invasive and could cut a deep hole in your pocket unless you have really good insurance.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Old Tech, New Ways
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has been used decades ago, but not as a form of treatment. TMS was used as a way to map out brain damage and function in stroke patients and patients who suffered head trauma. Recent discoveries in brain function revealed that activating parts of your brain using electromagnetic pulses can “train” it to function better, or at least back to normal.
TMS is basically putting a magnet over your head and using that magnet. The magnet delivers electromagnetic pulses to your brain. The cells of your brain react to these electromagnetic waves. They activating them as if the brain itself commanded them to. The process harmless and adverse effects are both rare and conditional. These effects included motion sickness or chronic migraines. The procedure lasts for 30-60 minutes. These are done daily for 4-6 weeks, but some programs may differ in frequency.
Promising TMS Treatments for Chronic Pain
There are few approved TMS therapies for chronic pain. Progress is increasingly good. Clinical trials with large sample groups have shown that the therapy causes an analgesic effect that gives temporary relief from chronic pain. Further clinical trials explored different frequencies and methods on a multitude of patients. These revealed that electromagnetic stimulation not only creates an analgesic effect but also “train” parts of the brain to adjust to the pain caused by Neuropathy. This could lead to more permanent ways to reduce the pain, or even lead to curing it.
People who suffer from depression due to their chronic pain issues will find themselves relieved of the depression as well. TMS deep brain stimulation can help the brain generate dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter or brain chemical responsible for happiness. Solving depression and relieving pain using a non-invasive, non-health-detrimental procedure ought to cause a euphoria more rewarding than any drug.
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, especially during times of stress or tension, such as the brief moment when your boss contemplates just after you asked for a raise. Anxiety is our brain’s way of preparing itself for danger. Not exactly to combat it, but to ensure that if we ever fight, or flee, our body is ready to act as best as it can.
When a person starts to feel anxiety outside where they should, problems start to arise. When anxiety occurs outside normal circumstances, and happens for days, over a course of more than 6 months, it’s classified as a disorder. The medical disorder is known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD for short.
It’s generalized because it has a number of causes, some of them unique to the person. It causes restlessness, fatigue, irritability, sleeping issues, and concentration problems, all of which make a significant dent in a person’s quality of life. What’s worse is that GAD is often accompanied, or causes other mental complications like depression.
Treatment via drug therapy is the most common solution, with counseling or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy being the go-to for long-term treatment and recession prevention.
One downside to the otherwise effective ways to treat GAD is the high costs and the possible adverse effects due to the medication. If a person has good health insurance, that can be mitigated somehow, but not everyone has it.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A New Hope
As the procedure is called, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS for short) is a relatively novel way to treat anxiety disorders. TMS was already in use decades ago in order to map out brain function in stroke patients. They figured that since our brain cells respond to weak pulses of electromagnetism, it could be used to stimulate brain cells to restore their function.
The idea is simple. An electromagnet is placed on top of your head and a machine regulates the electricity flowing to the magnet, creating minute pulses of electromagnetism. The targeted area of the brain is affected by the waves and they activate or at least react to the stimulation. Like physical therapy on a newly recovered leg or arm, the procedure will “train” and “massage” the target area of the brain to work back to normal. These procedures normally last about an hour and are done daily for 4-6 weeks.
The magnetic pulses are set to a low frequency of 1 Hz. Think of this as music. Lower Hz is slow, calm music while higher ones are the intense, fast beats. The low “hum” causes an inhibitory effect on the brain, calming activity as if listening to calming soul music. The pulsing is then aimed at the area of the brain where the cause of GAD is identified, such as the left prefrontal cortex. (The area above your left eye.)
The inhibitory effects showed remarkable results in reducing anxiety. Clinical trials with different experiments show consistent positive results, especially with continued TMS therapy. Currently, the only way to get TMS treatment for GAD is participating in clinical trials, but with solid evidence of improvement on patients, it’s only a matter of time before it’s approved as a treatment method.
Our entire body is controlled by the Central Nervous System. Our nerves are sprawled all over our body, sending minute messages to other cells, making them act. It can be as simple as making muscle cells contract and expand, which is currently allowing your eyes to move and read this. Likewise, the network of nerves controls everything else that makes you tick.
They don’t always work the way they should. In some cases, your eyelids may twitch all of a sudden. This is due to a small deficiency in nutrients. Other times, you might wake up, but your entire body isn’t awake. This is called sleep paralysis and could have many causes.
In terms diseases that disrupt your body’s harmony with your brain, one example is Parkinson’s disease. The disease affects your nerves and Dopamine, the chemical in the brain responsible for “positive feelings” and the smooth function of your muscles.
With Parkinson’s disease, the nerves in your body responsible for making dopamine, break down. This causes issues with the way your nerves send signals to your muscles.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are as follows:
- Stiff muscles and joints.
- Slow muscular responses, or slow reflex.
- Difficulting in sustaining muscle tension, such as holding a glass of water.
- Problems with balance, such as walking or jumping.
No Known Cure
Parkinson’s Disease does not have a cure yet, nor do we know what directly causes it. What we know so far is what can affect it, and what’s common among people who have it. The effect is not immediate and will slowly progress as you age.
With the right treatment, people can live relatively good lives before the disease really sets in. In some cases though, the medication required for treatment could be incompatible with some people.
TMS to Treat Parkinson’s Disease
There is hope though, in the form of a non-invasive procedure known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. The process is as simple as aiming an electromagnet on your head and sending a harmless pulse of electromagnetism. It may sound simple, but the implications are numerous. It has been used before as a way to make a functional map of the brain. TMS can also be used to map damage in the brain.
Now, it’s being used for the treatment of Severe Depression and Migraine. There are more conditions already in clinical trial, along with Parkinson’s Disease. What might be the best part of this is that TMS has very few side effects, especially when compared to traditional medication. Additionally, long-term side effects are practically nonexistent.
What makes TMS a hopeful treatment for Parkinson’s disease is TMS’s first intended use. TMS quickly became a way to map out the finer functions of our central nervous system. This allowed researchers to map out the “corticospinal system.” This system is what controls our movements, from the tiniest twitch to the strongest blows. They found out that stimulating regions of the corticospinal system improved motor functions.
Further Research Offers Real Hope
This allowed a better understanding of the disease, and stands as proof that TMS therapy could one day help people with Parkinson’s. Several clinical trials have found that TMS benefits parkinson’s patients and more studies are ongoing. Recent findings suggest that though they don’t have an established way to treat Parkinson’s, the information can guide current treatment decisions and pave the way for future research.
We know you have questions about TMS, how it works, whether it’s a good treatment option for you, and if your insurance will cover it. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help answer your questions and get you set up with your first appointment.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is used for a variety of mental illnesses and mood disorders. It has a myriad of benefits for those who are suffering from depression. It is also worth looking into if prescription medications don’t work for you or a loved one.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Benefits
Below is a list of benefits you will receive from undergoing TMS:
- TMS, a relatively safe treatment, is well-tolerated and is best for those with depression.
- TMS allows you to have a medication-free alternative. There are little to no side effects with TMS. Other types of treatment such as medications can cause tiredness, memory loss, weight gain, upset stomach, and sexual problems, among others.
- Only few, light side effects are experienced with TMS. This includes mild discomfort in the area of the scalp where TMS is administered.
- TMS is a non-systemic type of therapy. The patient’s bloodstream is not affected in any way whatsoever.
- With TMS, the patient does not need to be hospitalized. There is no need for a long recovery time. In addition, there is a less of a financial burden since you don’t need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time. A patient who has undergone TMS can immediately go home after the therapy.
- TMS is available for all people who are 18 years old and above.
- TMS currently is being researched for various uses. It is being researched as a treatment for diseases such as Stroke, Tinnitus, Parkinson’s Disease, and Pain.
- It is administered by certified TMS physicians and certified TMS technicians. Thus, the patient is assured of the efficiency of the entire procedure.
- There are TMS devices approved by the FDA. Thus you are sure the procedure is safe.
- TMS patients do not require anesthetic procedures before the actual process is done. Thus, risk of cardiac or respiratory arrest is not present.
- Memory loss is not a side effect of TMS. This is as opposed to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which can cause both short-term and long-term memory loss.
- It improves motor symptoms in patients who have Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
TMS can’t be given to patients who have metal objects in their heads. Similarly, patients who have metallic ink tattoos and tattoos that respond to magnetic forces are not allowed to undergo TMS. Those who have dental fillings or braces can undergo TMS.
TMS is a procedure with a lot of benefits. It can be used to treat a variety of disorders. If you are suffering from a particular type of disorder or mental illness, you should contact a certified professional regarding TMS. You don’t have to get bogged down by serious side effects caused by prescription medications. You can try TMS as an alternative or a supplement to your current therapy.
For more information on TMS, visit or contact TMS of the Palm Beaches here. Contact us today!