(Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)
Rising cases of anxiety worldwide have left many pondering on the most effective way to combat this silent illness. Research states that about 18% of American adults are either already affected or prone to suffering symptoms of anxiety. This makes it one of the most prominent mental conditions nationwide.
Anxiety and its symptoms are known to disrupt the completion of tasks, alter moods, and sometimes lead to panic attacks. Although current forms of treatment include talk therapy and medication, both have recorded a less than satisfactory result for many. This has led to development of a more efficient treatment capable of combating the increasing rate of anxiety cases.
There are various forms of anxiety disorders that can include OCD, generalized anxiety, panic disorders, PTSD, and social anxiety. Regardless of what form of anxiety an individual has, it often interferes with daily activities and has adverse effects on people’s relationships with family and coworkers.
One of the new treatment methods now being used for anxiety disorders is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). This treatment, referred to as TMS Therapy, has been shown to actively produce changes in regions of the brain that are implicated in mood regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex. The magnetic stimulation that is delivered non-invasively through invisible pulses allows the neuronal pathways to work together to regulate mood. As a result, individuals suffering from anxiety are able to gain relief from their symptoms and have improved cognitive function when dealing with situations that previously triggered anxiety.
Will TMS Work For Me?
Although it’s generally recommended for patients living with major depressive disorders, healthcare experts believe that TMS may be beneficial in treating patients with anxiety disorders due to the similarity in symptoms between both conditions. Also, anxiety disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that could result in excessive worry, fear, and shortness of breath.
Studies have shown that magnetic pulses from TMS can be directed to lessen the hyperactive area of the brain and achieve an equilibrium between the hypoactive and hyperactive nerve centers, thus reducing the effects of anxiety. Dr. Tasha Morris, an experienced psychiatrist and Medical Director of NeuroStim TMS, addresses the suitability of TMS in anxiety disorders below:
“We have seen consistently good results in anxious patients responding to TMS Therapy. We recently published results of a study we completed on 401 patients in the Brain Stimulation Journal; it showed that 60% of patients had a significant positive response (at least a 50% improvement in symptoms) and 44% achieved full remission from anxiety.”
The procedure is FDA approved and non-invasive. Each session lasts between 5 to 20 minutes, has limited side effects, no addictive tendencies, and provides lasting relief from symptoms without the use of medication. Lastly, being an outpatient procedure, TMS allows patients to receive treatments and go about their daily tasks seamlessly.
Patients in the greater Puget Sound area may consult NeuroStim centers for more information on TMS treatments and its applicability to their case.