Achieve TMS, the nation’s leading provider of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) is now offering treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at centers in San Diego, CA, Beaverton, OR and Anchorage, AK. The new OCD treatment protocol was approved by the FDA in August 2018.
TMS for OCD is a localized, non invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to re -set or neutralize neural pathways in the CSTC circuits (cortico-striatal-thalamo-coritcol) of the brain, which is the area involved with obsessive, persistent and intrusive thoughts and/or compulsive or ritualized actions that cause distress or impairment.
In the course of a lifetime, OCD impacts 2.3% of the population and commonly co-occurs with mood disorders, anxiety, tic disorders or schizophrenia. Roughly half of OCD patients do not experience a meaningful improvement in their symptoms from traditional therapies or medication alone and there are currently five medications that are approved in the U.S. for treatment of OCD. TMS is approved as an adjunctive treatment for OCD to support and enhance the impact of therapy and/or medication.
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TMS treatment for OCD involves daily 20 minute treatments, five days per week for about six weeks. There are no adverse side effects, and patients are able to safely drive to school or work immediately afterward.
For daily treatment, patients are fitted with a specially-built helmet, containing a patented H7-coil that is mapped to each patient’s CSTC coordinates on either side of the head. These circuits are responsible for attention allocation, impulse inhibition and motor activity. Magnetic pulses reaching up to 3.0 cm into the cerebral cortex gently stimulate the brain circuits impacted by OCD, combating hypersensitivity in these structures.
The impact of TMS on the treatment of OCD is measured by assessing scores on the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS). Based on clinical data, 38% of all patients using TMS for OCD treatment will see about a 30% decrease in the YBOCS score after 6 weeks (normally a drop of 6-7 points). Roughly 55% of patients will see a partial decrease (4-5 points) after 6 weeks. The decrease in symptoms is normally gradual and not apparent until roughly 3 weeks into treatment.