FDA Okays Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for OCD

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, can now be used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that hasn’t responded to conventional treatment methods like medication and psychotherapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially allowed marketing of TMS as a treatment for major depression beginning in 2008 and expanded its use to include pain associated with certain types of migraines in 2013.

Ahead of approval for OCD, the FDA reviewed information from a study involving 100 people with OCD; 49 were treated with the Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System and 51 received a sham treatment. Study participants who were already being treated for OCD continued their usual therapy throughout the study.

Researchers found that 38 percent of study participants responded to transcranial magnetic stimulation (as indicated by a more than 30 percent reduction in their Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale [YBOCS] score, a common tool for measuring the severity of OCD symptoms), and 11 percent of responded to the sham device (the placebo effect). TMS cannot be used in people with metal objects such as implants in or near the head. Side effects may include headaches and discomfort in the jaw, face, or neck.

Sourced from: FDA