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.
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.
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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.
More than 100 years in the making, we take a brief glance back at its origin and the concepts behind developing Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
The idea of using electromagnetic currents to stimulate different body parts particularly the human brain in an attempt to treat various diseases can be traced back more than 100 years ago. It was the time where medical science began exploring the possibilities of electromagnetic efficacy. Unfortunately, technology at that time cannot keep up with the changing times and these studies are not approved by scientific data.
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Theory Behind TMS
Anthony Barker and his colleagues first introduced the modern Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) device what we know today in 1985. However, the physics behind the TMS machine originated from Michael Faraday and Ampere’s law.
Faraday’s theory used electromagnetic induction and that voltage can be measured and changed when generated across a length of wire – if the wire was left exposed to a perpendicular magnetic field flux of alternating intensity. Also, Ampere’s law state that the magnetic field can be managed around an electric current is proportional to the electric current.
TMS uses electromagnetic pulses to stimulate an area of the brain associated with depression. This activates neurons to rewire making emotions and mood behavior more manageable. When these electromagnetic pulses passed through a coil going to the head, the brain will be permeated easily. These activated the neurons directly without any serious adverse effects.
When these electromagnetic pulses intensified or rapidly changed, it generates a depolarizing effect in the brain nerve cells thus releasing neurotransmitters that regulate brain functions.
During the mid-1900’s researchers from the field of Psychiatry began exploring the effect of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or rTMS in treating depressive disorders. After its initial start, more studies followed suit, focusing on the use of rTMS as a safe and alternative treatment for various mental disorders aside from depression.
Within a decade, around 90 clinical trials and several meta-analyses recommend the use and effects of rTMS in treating major depression.
Getting FDA Approval
Following the success of these different clinical trials, and based on the study of O’Reardon et al of using rTMS in the treatment-resistant major depression of 301 patients, the US Food and Drug Administration approved its use. TMS got its FDA approval in treating patients with the major depressive disorder.
The study shows how TMS can significantly improve the overall patient’s mood in comparison to conventional medications. Using TMS as part of depression management treatment proved as a safer and better alternative. Several years later, FDA finally announced in 2008 their approval of using rTMS machine as a major depression treatment.
Having a positive feedback from the FDA proved as a good starting point for rTMS in the management of Treatment-Resistant Depression. TMS efficacy in treating patients suffering from Treatment Resistant Depression is a major breakthrough in medical science. This devastating mental disease incapacitates millions of people, taking away their vitality and enthusiasm to live a normal life. Thus, the discovery of TMS and its usage is a great leap in providing these people another take on life.
Another pivotal study
Today, another version of TMS called deep rTMS or dTMS study which targets deeper brain structures had already started.
Launched in 2009, Dr. Xia’s research team at UC Davis started the endeavor of using dTMS for major depression. The study yielded very satisfactory findings. The remission rate of dTMS decreases for people with major depression by almost 50%. Enrolled patients comprised of highly treatment-resistant people who failed on their 2 or more medications in current index depression episode.
Because of its success and significant findings, the FDA approved the clinical use of dTMS immediately. As the study included patients who failed several times in their medication or already acquired intolerance to conventional treatment methods.
Right after this study, TMS became even more popular and widely accepted alternative treatment. More clinics started to accept its concept. Along with this, TMS convinced medical professionals and insurance coverage of its long-term benefits over other medications as well as ECT.
TMS Side Effects
Unlike other medications such as antidepressants, TMS does not have any systemic effects including sexual dysfunction, weight gain, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, headaches, constipation, sweating, anxiety, or sleepiness.
TMS does not produce any cognitive impairment as what ECT treatment produces. Patients who received ECT treatment usually suffer from memory impairment due to anesthesia or any muscle relaxant medications.
During TMS session, patients remain fully awake and alert on their environment. As TMS does not produce any major side effects, patients can immediately resume their daily activity. To this date, there are no reports that TMS had produced any long-term or life-threatening side effects.
Chronic or severe pain can range from mild to excruciating, felt in brief moments, be gradual in pain, or reside in a continuous manner or in episodic attacks. This pain can usually last more than 6 months, depending on its cause. Also, chronic pain can physically affect a person, their mood, performance at work or school, and even their intellectual and cognitive functions.
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Chronic pain is one of many medical mysteries known to man. Doctors have their own limitations in treating this chronic pain, its effective treatment and different kinds of dilemmas. Chronic pain can result in other different disorders like anxieties, worries, depression and poor cognitive performance.
Pain is one harsh sensation that can happen to a person. Commonly experience inside body tissues, but most studies revealed that chronic pain affects the lower back pain, neck pain, stomach, head, pelvic and other areas of the body. But with a proper psycho-physiological assessment, pain can significantly improve even be eliminated.
Unfortunately, many people suffering from chronic pain don’t have any idea how to address their suffering. Not all conventional treatment to chronic pain can benefit everyone. Prescription medications that contain opioids commonly lead to drug addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Signs and symptoms of chronic pain vary for everyone. Chronic pain has certain kinds of severity and source which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. However, some signs and manifestations are as follows: continuous pain, from cute to chronic pain, an electrical sensation, aches, intellectual disorders like low self-confidence, easy to anger, stress, worries, anxieties and many more.
Causes or Triggers of Chronic pain
There is no single specific factor that cause chronic pain. But there are certain factors that can trigger the disorder such as cases of infection, injury, and different illnesses.
Treating chronic pain includes taking medicines for the routine relief; doctors for surgery or operation can prescribe medications for a certain medical procedure. Some include alternative therapies like acupuncture and other traditional practices. But chronic pain treatment will depend to a certain extent on its cause.
Sadly, long-term use of these conventional treatments often leads to drug tolerance and drug addiction. As the rise of chronic pain disorders among people across the globe, the need for a safe and alternative treatment increases.
TMS for Chronic Pain
About 20 years ago, scientists develop Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a safe and alternative treatment for major depression. Due to its success, experts continue to stretch its parameters for treating other kinds of disorders.
Today, TMS could offer patients suffering from chronic pain their long waited relief from the discomfort. TMS can work directly on regions of the brain associated with pain. It can provide a non-invasive and non-systemic approach, avoiding adverse side effects associated with pain medication drugs.
Some painful sensation responds accordingly to antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and opioid agonists. But these drugs also carry deadly side effects. So there is still a growing need for a safe and effective therapeutic option.
Fortunately, TMS provides effective and fast relief of chronic pain using electromagnetic waves targeting the brain cells associated with pain. It’s an affordable and simple procedure and it gives no dangerous side effects to the body. TMS uses magnetic stimulation of brain nerve cells that are related to chronic pain. These waves can modulate cortical excitability and at the same time inhibit pain perception in the brain. This method can significantly improve symptoms of chronic pain in patients.
The TMS machine uses a coil placed near on top of the head to stimulate the cortical regions of the brain. This strategic location along with the correct threshold can effectively stimulate brain cells. The procedure is safe and does not elicit adverse effects. Some TMS clinics use H-coils and used to stimulate the lower-limb motor cortex, an area in the brain tucked deep within the medial longitudinal fissure that controls motor skills. One study shows that deep TMS has significant results to patients suffering from diabetic neuropathic pain. Experts saw improvement in relieving chronic pain symptoms in these patients.
As a non-invasive procedure, it does not need any hospitalization or anesthesia. Most of its side effects are well tolerated and diminishes over time as treatment session continues. Treatments usually take place inside the doctor’s office and patients are kept wide awake. TMS does not require any anesthesia or similar drugs; patients can easily go back to their normal daily routine after each session. This makes TMS as an ideal treatment option for patients with a strict schedule to follow.
Electroconvulsive Therapy or ECT is a treatment procedure which uses small electric currents emitted directly through the brain. Usually done under general anesthesia, it involves triggering a quick and rapid seizure.
The procedure intentionally causes alterations in the brain chemistry in which can reduce symptoms of certain mental disorders. Medical practitioners often result using ECT when other treatments failed to treat a particular mental disorder. However, ECT may not work for everyone as involves painful sensations and medication like anesthesia. A huge number of patients suffered from memory loss, fractured bones, and other adverse side effects.
Some clinics may claim to administer ECT but side effects vary from severe to worse:
Patients may suffer confusion almost immediately after treatment. This can last from few minutes to several hours, some reported to have confusion for several days longer. Confusion tends to be more noticeable in older patients.
Memory loss is one of the most common side effects of ECT and patients have trouble remembering events that occurred months or weeks before treatment. Doctors characterized this condition as retrograde amnesia. Some patients may claim to have trouble calling events weeks prior to treatment.
Aside from these adverse effects, there are other physical side effects of ECT. Some people suffer from a headache, nausea, muscle pain, or jaw pain. Because ECT is an invasive and systemic procedure, there is some medical complication involve due to the use of anesthesia. Increase heart rate and blood pressure are amongst the most common problems during ECT procedure. Unfortunately, these problems can cause serious heart complications. Medical professional advise against ECT if patient experience or have a history of heart disorders.
Who Qualifies for ECT?
Before ECT procedure can commence, patients undergo an intense full evaluation which usually includes the following:
- A complete physical exam
- A medical history
- A psychiatric assessment
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) to check patient’s heart health
- Anesthesiologist review to go over the risks of anesthesia
- Several basic blood tests
Most patients suffering from mental disorders failed to respond positively to conventional treatments. But instead of falling into despair, medical science offers a relatively new, safe and efficient alternative treatment, the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS. It’s a noninvasive, non-systemic procedure that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of certain mental disorders. Medical professionals usually use TMS as the last option when no other treatments fail.
How it Works
During TMS treatment session, medical professional place an electromagnetic coil near the prefrontal cortex of the patient. This coil emits painless electromagnetic pulses that stimulate brain nerve cells associated with mood control and depression. These regions in the brain often have decreased activity in people suffering from depression. The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of TMS as it can effectively ease depression symptoms and noticeably improve overall mood.
Most people can respond positively to the conventional treatment of depression but these medications are not for everyone. Some standards form of treatments losses their efficacy over time due to drug tolerance and other factors. TMS treatment used is often recommended for patients who do not respond accordingly to conventional treatments like medications and psychotherapy.
As a non-invasive form of brain stimulation, TMS results to fewer risks or none at all as a brain stimulation procedure used for depression. Like another form of nerve stimulation like vagus or ECT, TMS does not require any surgery or implantation of electrodes in the body. TMS does not require any sedation and does not cause any seizure whether intentional or not.
The FDA and other medical organization considered TMS as a well-tolerated, safe, and efficient alternative treatment to cure depression disorders. However, it may cause some mild side effects which eventually go away in the course of the treatment duration.
Some of the common side effects comprise of mild to moderate and improved shortly after each session. These side effects decrease over time and may include the following:
Side effects are generally mild to moderate and improve shortly after an individual session and decrease over time with additional sessions. They may include:
- A headache
- Scalp discomfort at the site of stimulation
- Tingling, spasms or twitching of facial muscles
What You Can Expect
TMS treatment sessions are done inside the doctor’s office on an outpatient basis. Typically last about few minutes or an hour. Patients can immediately resume their daily activity after each session for a period of five times a week for four to six weeks.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition found in the central nervous system and known as an autoimmune disease that has an inflammatory condition. Unfortunately, there is no known cure or prevention method for the disease. Multiple Sclerosis affects the whole nervous system and as of 2008, an estimated 2 million people suffer from this condition worldwide.
Over the course of years, different brain stimulation techniques had been tested to treat multiple sclerosis. Many clinical researchers and scientists believed in the potentials of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to help patients with multiple sclerosis to live a better life.
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Conventional Treatment Methods
Different studies developed several modifying drugs that can reduce the attacks and avoid relapse within the past decades. Although the drugs reduce the pain associated with the disease, the treatment is not widely available. Certain conventional treatment methods focus on the number of attacks and in the recovery of multiple sclerosis patients.
Since there is no cure available, Multiple Sclerosis treatments usually focus on slowing down the progression of the disease and managing its symptoms. The main goal of treatments is to lessen ameliorate symptoms affecting the functional capability of the patients which hinders them from getting the most out of their lives.
Many of the conventional treatment available to manage Multiple Sclerosis symptoms are still “off-label” in most countries. Even though many of these medications are properly investigated but yet approved by local health authorities.
Because of the dire need to have a proper medical management treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, many researchers are trying to develop a newer and safer alternative treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.
Depression Co-occurring with Multiple Sclerosis
About 50% of Multiple Sclerosis patients also suffer from depressive symptoms and in need of immediate medical care, especially if they have a high risk of attempted suicides. Depression hinders the ability of the patient to seek proper medical treatment. It is important to treat depression to ensure a quality treatment to better manage Multiple Sclerosis. Many prescription drugs like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) can lessen depressive symptoms but it has severe implications and side effects. Antidepressant medications often lead to drug addiction, worsening the situation.
The most common depressive symptoms which can co-exist with Multiple Sclerosis include fatigue and cognitive disturbance. According to the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) may lessen depressive symptoms particularly fatigue related to Multiple Sclerosis.
TMS Success for Treating Depression in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
The efficacy of TMS stimulation to the left prefrontal cortex can last for about six weeks. The method is seen as an effective treatment for decreasing pain-related symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis patients. Stimulating this area of the brain can lessen depressive symptoms, over fatigue, and paresthesia in lower limbs for patients with little side effects, as seen in studies of at the University Hospital Zurich.
TMS produces electromagnetic pulses passed through the brain associated with mood regulation. It emits electric currents that stimulate brain cells to induce normal brain activity. Done inside a doctor’s office as an outpatient procedure, it does not interrupt with the daily normal activity of the patient.
Experts studies TMS on different Multiple Sclerosis symptoms within the past decades. TMS can effectively reduce fatigue, chronic pain, oxidative stress, and regulates mood. This newly developed technique can also be used for moderating blood-brain barrier, a significant factor in treating several autoimmune diseases.
Two types of Multiple Sclerosis
Experts claimed that TMS can be helpful in both Multiple Sclerosis-related dexterities and dysphagia problems. These are the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis which impairs the vocal and cognitive functions. Today, there are ongoing studies about TMS that can help with spasticity in people with Multiple Sclerosis.
TMS in Treating Multiple Sclerosis
Many studies support the efficiency and success rate of TMS, particularly in deep cranial magnetic stimulation. Using this method, it can reach deeper into the brain, stimulating nerve cells producing more neurotransmitters which regulate brain chemicals. With the use of magnetic pulses, TMS can stimulate brain structures promoting better neuro connectivity and producing significant improvements to Multiple Sclerosis patients.
Because it’s a simple procedure that does not need any medical surgeries or systemic medications, it can be done as an outpatient inside a doctor’s office. There are no known severe adverse effects of TMS, unlike other conventional treatment methods. Several studies show that TMS can significantly improve body weakness and any depressive conditions signs in a consecutive 6 weeks of treatments over the motor cortex.
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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.
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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.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or simply known as TMS is a non-invasive, non-systemic procedure that stimulates brain nerve cells to treat Major Depressive Disorders. Generating magnetic waves similar to an MRI, TMS therapy is safe to use for everyone. This painless electromagnetic pulsed emits magnetic fields in specific parts of the brain associated with mood and behaviors.
Magnetic waves can reach into deeper parts of the brain without the use of pharmaceuticals or surgeries. TMS therapy is usually done inside the doctor’s office for about 30 to 45 minutes over a period of 4 to 6 weeks of treatment sessions. Since it does not require any surgeries, anesthesia, and hospitalization, patients can immediately go back to their daily lives following each treatment sessions.
The US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of TMS as a safe and effective treatment for depressive disorders in 2008. This painless procedure was given a nod to treat patients with resistant depression symptoms when all antidepressant treatments have failed.
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How Does TMS Work?
Majority of people suffering from depression failed to respond with the conventional medications and psychotherapies. Experts believed the region in the brain near the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tends to be underactive while some parts of the brain remain overactive. This creates chemical imbalances within the brain structures causing some of the most common depressive symptoms. The electromagnetic pulses that TMS machine produce can penetrate deep into the brain that activates inactive brain cells while suppressing other brain regions without the use of medications and surgeries. TMS therapy is a safe and effective treatment option to stimulate the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and treat depressive symptoms.
During a TMS procedure, health care providers placed an insulated magnetic coil over the head of the patient. It then emits magnetic pulses that stimulate brain neurons; it’s painless yet effective method of treating depression. As a non-invasive and non-systemic method, patients can immediately go on with their daily activities following the treatment session.
Why is TMS so effective?
TMS consistently produce positive changes in neuronal activity in regions of the brain often linked in mood regulation. As the magnetic waves pass through the skull painlessly and into the brain, this triggers the brief activity of brain cells directly underneath the treatment coil. Health care providers monitor the frequency and the threshold of magnetic waves as it directly influences brain activity during TMS treatment sessions. Some recent studies suggest that stimulating the left or the right sides of the brain can have opposite effects on mood regulation. That is why all patients needing TMS treatment undergoes strict and thorough medical assessment to fully identify their particular need.
When is TMS therapy recommended?
Antidepressant medications and psychotherapy remain as the first line of treatments for Major Depressive Disorders. Unfortunately, the majority of patients failed to respond accordingly to these conventional treatment methods. If patients failed several times using pharmaceuticals, then doctors may recommend TMS therapy or to combine antidepressant medications and psychotherapy. Also, patients to who cannot tolerate medications might also consider undergoing TMS therapy.
But not everyone can undergo TMS therapy, as the machine functions like an MRI, patients with metallic implants, pacemakers, bullet fragments and the likes are prohibited from using TMS. This can interfere with such metals and may cause adverse side effects.
Who will benefit the most from TMS therapy?
Numerous research and clinical data show that patients with resistant to conventional medications respond better to TMS than others. Since TMS is a simple procedure, it does not involve the use of any pharmaceuticals that are known to have severe side effects like weight gain, irritability, sleep problems, digestive problems, and sexual dysfunctions. Patients undergo TMS therapy in a very comfortable clinical setup without the stress of having these problems.
How long does it take to see results from TMS?
Each person has their own genetic make-up, the response time from TMS therapy varies from one patient to another. Some patients reported to feel a lot better than the others; they claim to experience relief within the first week of a therapy session. In some instances, patients will notice a big difference in their symptoms within the 4th week of treatment. This huge improvement has a lasting effect on the patient, the majority of patients claim that they can function better without worrying about relapses.
However, if TMS works slowly for others it does not mean it’s not effective, some people just take a little more time to readjust the brain and create new neural pathways. But the effects are the same; it relieves depression even for patients with treatment-resistant disorders.
Clinical depression remains the topmost health problem in the US and affects more than 40 million adults each year. Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability and is more prevalent in women than in men. Around 75% of people suffering from mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries. It’s a growing mental illness worldwide as pharmaceutical companies race to develop new drugs for the treatment of common depressive disorders. The medical community continues to search for new and safer alternative therapies, which eventually led to Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation was first developed in 1985, and was considered safe for treating various disorders. It received a monumental step by getting the US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2008 as an alternative treatment for Major Depressive Disorder. As a non-invasive and non-systemic procedure with minimal side effects, health care providers consider TMS as a safe and effective treatment for depression.
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TMS is Safe and Easy
Compare to conventional depression treatment which requires taking prescription drugs, TMS therapy has not been associated with undesirable side effects like addiction. Patients will not experience excruciating side effects like sleep problems, digestive problems, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. Most patients can only feel mild to moderate temporary discomfort at the site of the coil following the first round of treatment.
Doctors and experts can confirm that TMS therapy is a safe and effective alternative treatment for Major Depressive Disorders. And because of it’s continued success, there a number of on-going studies experimenting with TMS as another form of treatment for various diseases.
It’s a proven safe technique for all patients; TMS is gaining popularity across the globe. As an FDA-cleared method, TMS consistently show its efficacy in treating other health problems like PTSD, stroke, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, eating disorder, even as pain management.
A Good Alternative to Prescription Medications
TMS is a non-invasive and non-systemic technique that has lasting positive effects. Even with patients who failed to respond to previous prescription medications and psychotherapies. This relatively new technique targets the brain area associated with depression. It regulates brain chemistry thus promoting a well and balance activity in the brain.
It uses electromagnetic pulses similar to MRI and precisely targets the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This helps to regulate the mind’s unique electrical activity. TMS can activate inactive brain cells while suppressing overactive regions without the use of any antidepressant drugs.
Prescription Drugs’ Adverse Side Effects
Using prescription drugs and antidepressants may work for about a fraction of people suffering from Major Depressive Disorders. Sadly, the majority of the patients do not respond to these medications and its long-term effectiveness, side effects, and costs are some of the downfalls of antidepressants. But the biggest concerns in taking prescription drugs are the debilitating consequences. Experts estimate about 70% of people who tried alternative therapies like TMS have a better chance of recovery and beating depression, in the long run, compared to taking medications.
TMS directly stimulates brain neurons and in building new neurotransmitters to release ‘happy hormones’ within the brain structure. The technique jump starts the brain in having the natural action of regulating its structure and chemistry. Even without any prescription drugs and medications involved, it does not illicit major side effects of addiction and drug overdose. Patients can undergo TMS therapy without the fear of having to take medications or undergo major surgeries.
Health care providers use TMS therapy as a long-term preventive measure for depression relapse, one of its biggest advantages. TMS therapy stimulates the brain in keeping those newly formed neural pathways linked together for the life of the patient.
TMS Side Effects
There are certain side effects that patient may experience during TMS procedure, but these are just minor health concerns. Since the TMS machine function like an MRI, some of its side effects are related to later like headaches and dizziness. Some may experience slight tingling sensation at the site but will eventually subside following the therapy.
However, patients with metallic implants, cochlear implants, pacemakers, bullet fragments, and the likes are prohibited from using TMS therapy. Patients kept fully awake during each session which may last for about 40 minutes in five times a week over the course of four to six weeks of treatment. Since it’s done inside a doctor’s office without any anesthesia or surgery involved, patients can immediately go back to their daily tasks following the treatment.