Achieve TMS East, a leading provider of deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), is offering treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at several of its select centers in Massachusetts including Northampton, Leominster, and Westborough. Our technicians use Brainsway’s deep TMS technology, offering our patients the most advanced technology for the treatment of OCD and Major Depression. It was in August 2018 that Brainsway’s OCD treatment protocol was approved by the FDA.
TMS for OCD is a localized, non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic fields to reset or neutralize neural pathways in the CSTC (cortico-striatal-thalamo-corticol) circuits of the brain, 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 is co-occurrent 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. There are currently five medications that are approved in the U.S. for treatment of OCD. TMS is approved as an adjunct treatment for OCD to support and enhance the impact of therapy and/or medication.
Deep 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.
During treatment, patients are fitted with a specially-built helmet, containing a patented H7-coil that is mapped to each patient’s CSTC coordinates. 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 a patient’s scores on the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS). Based on clinical data, 38% of patients using TMS to treat OCD will see a ~30% decrease in the YBOCS score after 6 weeks. This equates to a drop of 6-7 points. Meanwhile, 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.