How can TMS help OCD?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have recurring, intrusive thoughts, ideas or obsessions (sensations) that drive them to do something unwantedly and repetitively. Thus, these repetitive sensations are called compulsions and it can vary from individual to individual.
Repetitive behaviors can include excessive hand washing, checking (such as locks) or cleaning. These behaviors depending on their severity can have significant impacts on a person’s daily activities and reduce social interactions.
For many people, focused thoughts or unwanted repeated behaviors can occur. However, these do not disrupt a person’s daily activities or make their lives difficult. On the other hand, people suffering from OCD have persistent and unwanted thoughts and routines that cause a great amount of distress.
- Common obsessive thoughts
- Fear of being contaminated
- Fear of losing control or self-harming
- Violent or sexually explicit thoughts
- Common obsessive behaviors
- Excessive checkings, such as locks, appliances, and switches
- Counting, repeating words
- Ordering and arranging things
- Engaging in rituals triggered by religious beliefs
Who gets OCD?
It is estimated that OCD occurs in around 1.1% of the general population in the UK. (Mentalhealth.org.uk)
In other words, 12 out of every 1,000 people suffer from OCD. However, the actual number may be higher due to many people suffering in silence.
How TMS improves OCD?
Imaging studies have shown differences in the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain in patients with OCD. Additionally, there appears to be a connection between the OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain. Therefore, TMS treatment improves OCD by targeting specific regions of the brain that calm OCD symptoms and behaviors.
The NICE guidelines on OCD
Currently, TMS treatment is being reviewed by The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The review is considering the current evidence on the TMS treatment for OCD as well as its safety and effectiveness.
Video credits: www.osmosis.org