The Benefits of TMS as a Treatment for OCD

By: Stuart Porter, NP


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental condition that can ser iously impair someone’s ability to live a normal life. OCD is characterized by obsessive thoughts and urges and/or compulsive, repetitive behaviors. People who have OCD often feel powerless against these symptoms, and up until recently, they didn’t have many options for treatment.

However, in August of 2018, the FDA announced  that they approved Brainsway’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment system for OCD. Carlos Peña, Ph.D., M.S., director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health stated, “patients with OCD who have not responded to traditional treatments now have another option.” 

But why is TMS such a great option for OCD patients? Read on to learn about the benefits of TMS and why it is a good option for those who haven’t found relief from traditional treatment methods. 

TMS Is Noninvasive

TMS is a completely noninvasive treatment that uses a magnetic coil to stimulate the areas of the brain that are affected by OCD. Patients remain fully awake and alert during treatment, and they can return to their daily activities immediately following their treatment session.

TMS Is More Effective

Many people with OCD are treatment resistant. In other words, their symptoms don’t respond to treatments like antidepressant medication or cognitive behavioral therapy. But the symptoms of OCD can often be debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to hold down a job or even finish school.  

Luckily, TMS has proven itself to be a promising treatment option for those with OCD. In fact, studies show that TMS is two to three times more effective  than antidepressants in treating OCD patients. In Brainsway’s OCD study , patients showed significant improvement. They reported up to a 30% reduction in the severity of their symptoms. The patients also reported that these changes were maintained for a month after the trial was completed.

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.