According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects about 1 in 40 U.S. adults. The majority (90%) of those with OCD will have some other mental disorder at some point in their life, including anxiety and panic disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD.
Medications and cognitive-behavioral therapy are typically used to treat OCD. Medications designed to treat OCD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs target the neurotransmitters—chemicals that are used by the brain to communicate between individual neurons—to try and balance brain chemistry. Unfortunately, the majority of OCD patients do not respond adequately to their initial medication regimen, and between 40-60% will not have a satisfactory or sustained outcome with pharmaceutical treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
In recent years, psychiatric research has focused on the concept that the structure and function of the brain’s neural networks may play an important role in OCD. Much like the way electricity travels through a circuit board in an electronic device, these neural networks communicate between areas of the brain. When a disorder such as OCD is present, the belief is that there is a problem impacting the interconnections within these neural networks. Therefore, newer OCD treatments have started focusing on the neural networks instead of neurotransmitters. The goal of these treatments is to effectively stimulate the areas of the brain involved in OCD, and to change the way information flows through the neural networks, allowing the circuits to function in a more healthy state. One such treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
TMS has been in clinical use for more than 20 years, helping those with treatment-resistant depression, anxiety disorder and more. In 2018, the FDA-approved BrainsWay Deep TMS (dTMS) for the treatment of OCD. TMS Center of Colorado is one of only two centers in the Greater-Denver area to offer BrainsWay Deep TMS for OCD. Better tolerated by patients than alternatives, dTMS sends magnetic pulses deep into the brain to stimulate neural networks. TMS is completely non-invasive and does not require anesthesia. The patient can drive themselves to and from their appointment, and can resume normal activities immediately after their treatment.
A multi-country clinical trial demonstrated that dTMS, conducted five times per week, 20 minutes per day, over a six week period) achieved a 20% or greater reduction in symptoms for more than half of those receiving the treatment.
It is important to note that not all TMS devices are the same, and only the BrainsWay Deep TMS system is both clinically shown to treat OCD and FDA cleared for this indication. Deep TMS for OCD presents a viable alternative for patients who are treatment-resistant or who cannot tolerate effective medications.
If you or someone you know is suffering from treatment-resistant OCD, it pays to learn about deep TMS treatment for OCD.
Learn more about Deep TMS Therapy and our BrainsWay Deep TMS System by calling the TMS Centers of Colorado at 303-884-3867 today. We have offices in Denver and Lakewood serving the entire Front Range.