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11 Conditions That Could Benefit From TMS Treatment

Mar 01, 2019

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On our blog, we’ve talked a lot about the effectiveness of TMS treatment for depression. Currently, the FDA has approved deep TMS for MDD and OCD. But many doctors also use TMS as an off-label treatment for a variety of other physical and...

On our blog, we’ve talked a lot about the effectiveness of TMS treatment for depression. Currently, the FDA has approved deep TMS for MDD and OCD. But many doctors also use TMS as an off-label treatment for a variety of other physical and mental conditions.

In some European countries as well as other places around the world, TMS has even been approved to treat other conditions besides depression and OCD. And scientists are continuing to conduct studies and research the efficacy of TMS treatment for the following conditions:

1. ADD/ADHD

A study using Brainsway’s Deep TMS system determined that deep TMS may be an effective treatment for the symptoms of ADHD. The study had 53 participants who were separated into three groups: deep TMS, rTMS, and placebo TMS. The participants’ responses to TMS were tracked using the Conner’s Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS). Of the patients who had deep TMS, 33% had a 30% or higher drop in their CAARS score.

The study concluded that Brainsway’s Deep TMS could be an effective treatment for ADHD. Obviously, more studies will need to be conducted. But so far, the results are promising. Since ADHD medications can cause so many unwanted side effects, TMS may be a great drug-free option for adults with ADHD. 

2. Addiction & Substance Abuse

Brainsway’s Deep TMS system has also been tested as a treatment for addiction to various substances. In one study, 7 cocaine addicts were given deep TMS. After 12 treatments, the reported desire for cocaine among the participants was 64.6% lower than when they started treatment four weeks earlier. The study concluded that regular TMS treatments may be a very helpful treatment option for addiction and substance abuse.

3. Alzheimer’s Disease

Research published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011 concluded that TMS is a valuable tool for understanding how Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia affect the brain. The study also noted that TMS could help improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s. More studies will need to be conducted, but researchers are excited about the possibility of a new treatment for this degenerative neurological disease.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety affects nearly 20% of adults in the U.S. Anxiety comes in many forms, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorders, and social anxiety disorder. A study on TMS as a treatment for social anxiety disorder concluded that rTMS may balance brain activity and provide some relief from symptoms.

Although TMS isn’t approved by the FDA to treat anxiety, psychiatrists may prescribe it off-label because of its helpful effects. Since anxiety mainly affects the right prefrontal cortex, the TMS is administered at a lower frequency on the opposite side of the head along with the normal TMS protocol for depression.

5. Autism

While more research needs to be done on TMS as a treatment for autism, doctors are hopeful that TMS can become a safe and effective treatment option for individuals with autism. Studies on adults with autism show that TMS may help reduce symptoms of irritability and repetitive behaviors and help them improve their hand-eye coordination and social skills.

Doctors believe that TMS may also be beneficial to younger people with autism, but more research needs to be done on children. Most of the studies that have been conducted have been on verbal adults. However, researchers and doctors are very optimistic about TMS as a successful treatment for autism.

6. Bipolar Disorder

TMS is not currently approved by the FDA to treat bipolar disorder. However, deep TMS has been approved by the European Union (CE) and the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) of Brazil as a treatment for bipolar. Studies show that TMS may help the symptoms of mania in bipolar as well as the symptoms of depression.

7. Eating Disorders

People with eating disorders may also experience significant relief from symptoms through TMS. In a recent study, nearly half of the participants had at least a 50% drop in binge eating and purging. One-third of the patients’ symptoms reduced by 80%, and some of the patients even achieved complete remission.

8. Migraines & Chronic Pain

Studies show that TMS can aid in the treatment of chronic pain. TMS has also been very effective at treating chronic migraines. It is exciting that there could be a drug-free option for people with chronic pain conditions who don’t want to rely on pain medications.

9. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

A study in Paris concluded that TMS may improve walking and balance in people with MS when combined with traditional rehabilitation techniques. The director of the study reported that the results were fascinating and that he was excited about the possibilities of TMS as a treatment for MS. 

10. Schizophrenia

Studies show that TMS may help reduce auditory hallucinations as well as other cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Since schizophrenia medications can have many unwanted side effects, it is exciting that TMS may be able to provide a drug-free option to people who live with this condition.

11. Stroke Rehabilitation

Studies show that TMS may be beneficial for stroke patients to help them learn how to walk again and improve other fine motor skills. Stroke rehabilitation can sometimes take years, so if TMS can help make the process easier, that would be huge.

Research on TMS treatment for these conditions is promising. Hopefully, researchers will continue to gather more data, leading to the approval of TMS for other conditions. For now, Serenity Mental Health Centers offers these treatments off-label. To learn more about TMS treatment for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other conditions, contact us to schedule an appointment.