Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems, affecting nearly one-third of all adolescents and adults. When anxiety doesn’t respond to conventional therapies, it’s time to meet the team at MindSet in San Diego, California. They use a safe, effective, and noninvasive procedure called personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (PrTMS®) to treat the disrupted brainwaves that are the source of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
When someone feels anxious, their brain immediately responds by releasing neurotransmitters and hormones. These substances affect many systems throughout the body, energizing it to deal with the perceived threat or to quickly escape from harm.
After the threat is over and the anxiety goes away, biochemicals return to normal — unless they have an anxiety disorder. Patients with anxiety disorders stay on high alert even when there isn’t a real threat.
Something else occurs in a state of high anxiety: the brain’s electrical activity varies from normal brainwaves. PrTMS® has the ability to restore normal brainwaves, balancing neuron activity and relieving anxiety.
OCD was once considered to be an anxiety disorder. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-5, it was reclassified into its own category called obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. However, it’s common for patients with OCD to also have a co-existing anxiety disorder.
When someone has OCD, they have obsessions, which are repetitive and unwanted thoughts and feelings that they can’t control. These obsessions cause severe anxiety that compels them to do something to relieve the anxiety.
The action taken to get rid of anxiety is called a compulsion. Acting on a compulsion may relieve the anxiety, but the intrusive thoughts eventually return, and the cycle continues.
Like with anxiety disorders, studies show abnormal electrical activity in the brains of patients with OCD. Using PrTMS® to modify brainwaves can help alleviate OCD symptoms. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the marketing of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for treating OCD.
TMS stimulates activity in neurons using a device that sends magnetic pulses into the brain. When TMS is repeatedly delivered, it restores normal brainwave activity and produces long-term improvement in mental health conditions, including anxiety and OCD.
The device that creates the magnetic pulse is placed near the head, where it’s strategically positioned to ensure the appropriate region of the brain is targeted. The magnetic waves only treat the targeted area; they don’t affect the rest of the brain.
PrTMS® uses TMS to treat anxiety and OCD but significantly improves on the procedure by personalizing therapy to meet the brain’s unique brainwave pattern. The team at MindSet developed three steps to optimize PrTMS results.
For the first step, they map brainwave activity using an electroencephalogram (EEG). Using the PeakLogic ComfortScan™ EEG, they produce an accurate image of the brain’s electrical activity, allowing them to identify brain arrhythmias.
For the second step, patients complete a questionnaire that identifies symptoms, giving the team a comprehensive analysis of mental health and enabling them to target the precise brain areas that are associated with a patient’s particular challenges.
Finally, the EEG data and self-reported symptoms are evaluated by their innovative PeakLogic Software. This advanced program produces the information needed to develop a customized PrTMS® therapy protocol for each unique brain mapping.
Initial treatment consists of five sessions every week for 6-8 weeks. The sessions only take about 30 minutes, and when they’re over, patients can get back to normal daily activities.
Throughout treatment, patients have additional EEGs to evaluate progress and refine the PrTMS® therapy. This ongoing evaluation gives the team at MindSet the ability to use the lowest possible TMS intensity to achieve optimal results.
Most patients at MindSet experience an improvement in their anxiety and OCD symptoms within several weeks of when their PrTMS® treatments begin. Though not as common, patients may notice results within a few days.
If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety or OCD, and especially if the symptoms don’t respond to conventional treatments, PrTMS® can help. To schedule an appointment, call MindSet or use the online booking feature.