Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD refers to a very wide range of behavioral symptoms which health providers categorize in different ways. ASD affects a person’s communication skills, social interaction, behavior, and interests. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ASD affects 1 in every 59 8-year-old children in 2014. The disorder is four times more common in boys than in girls and can happen to anyone regardless of racial or ethnic groups.
Conventional Treatment Methods
There are a number of currently available treatments for people with ASD but mostly involve prescription medications for symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and inattentiveness. Some may include classes that help those people learn social skills, adaptive coping, problem-solving which all focuses on how they can manage their daily living routines.
Conventional treatment methods may offer relief for some patients but many are left unsatisfied with the results. These medications may not work for everyone with ASD and using prescription medications often lead to far worse health conditions.
TMS: A Safe Alternative Treatment
Two of the most common ASD symptoms include difficulties in social interaction and repetitive behaviors both verbal and non-verbal. People with ASD along with their loved ones spend a lot of time seeking out various treatments for alleviating the symptoms.
Many neuroscientists are now exploring different possibilities to treat ASD symptoms without the danger of various health complications. Experts are now looking for the possibility of using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to address the problem.
TMS used safe and painless electromagnetic waves that can stimulate certain brain areas to produce neurotransmitters necessary for normal brain activity.
Medical professionals place a coil near the prefrontal cortex of the patient stimulating the region in the brain that regulates mood and behaviors. It’s a proven technique to treat major depressive disorders which the Food and Drug Administration approved in 2008. There are no known severe adverse effects of TMS which many health care providers considered as safe and effective.
Ongoing TMS research
For the past few decades since its development, scientists have been studying the use of TMS as a possible treatment option for different neurological and psychiatric disorders. Today, the FDA gave its official nod for TMS as an alternative treatment method for depression in adults who failed to respond to conventional medications. Having an FDA approval signifies its importance of having a safe procedure which can help with other conducted clinical trials.
With various studies supporting TMS efficacy in modulating mood and behaviors, neuroscientists are now considering this technique to address the two main challenges associated with ASD – social interaction and repetitive behaviors.
The Harvard University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital and at the University of Louisville published the medical research findings in using TMS in ASD-related symptoms. Today, there are more than 100 patients with ASD that had been published in several professional scientific journals worldwide.
TMS as an Alternative Treatment for ASD
Currently, there are several research studies on TMS as a treatment method for ASD. Even though it’s still at its infancy stage, TMS is seen to help relieve symptoms such as repetitive behaviors, and irritability. According to experts, TMS can help improve other autism-related disabilities like eye-hand coordination and social skills.
A lot of patients with ASD in these pilot studies have shown significant improvements in their social skills and other executive functioning.
Patients who participated in these early studies become more aware and able to project conventional demeanor. They are observed to have a better social functioning, ability to read nonverbal cues, and were able to interact with another person. As they improved their social skills, experts noticed that they also show decreased rigidity and repetitive behaviors.
With its positive initial results, there are three known clinical trials using TMS as a treatment for ASD-related symptoms. A research study in Canada focuses on how TMS can help with executive functioning. Another study in Israel is looking at the effects of TMS in children and adolescents with ASD and intellectual disability. Lastly, a French study is finding ways at the possible changes in social cognition in adults with ASD using TMS.
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!