“Obsessions and compulsions can greatly interfere with your daily life and can often be difficult to treat. Behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance-Commitment Therapy (ACT) that include Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) aka “Exposure Therapy”, often combined with serotonin-reuptake inhibitor medications, are still the gold standard of treatment and can work quite well for many patients. However, many people try these therapies and/or medications and cannot tolerate the side effects at doses high enough to find benefit or find that even though they benefit, they still have significant symptoms remaining that get in the way of living life fully.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment which targets the parts of the brain known to be involved in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well as Major Depression. It was approved by the FDA in 2008 to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and in 2018, BrainsWay Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) was cleared by the FDA for treatment of OCD using a different target and protocol than typically used for depression. This is the first non-invasive medical therapy for OCD in over a decade. The BrainsWay trial and others demonstrated that TMS can be effective at reducing OCD symptoms in treatment-resistant cases and may increase the effectiveness of other treatments like exposure therapy and medications.
Our OCD Program has already helped many patients realize relief from their depression and OCD with TMS therapy, increasing their ability to live the quality of life that they deserve.”
–Ryan Vidrine, MD
OCD Program, TMS Health Solutions
Over two million adults are diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) each year. Approximately 30-50% of those with OCD are resistant to first-line treatments such as medications (SSRIs) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP). In addition, at least 30% of OCD patients struggle with co-occurring depression.
TMS may currently be covered by your insurance for treating Major Depressive Disorder, and we expect that insurance companies will be updating their policies soon to expand coverage for OCD. Our team can discuss the various protocols and options with you in detail and advocate on your behalf to obtain necessary coverage to treat both OCD and Depression.
We realize people have often been suffering for long periods of time, and our staff is a compassionate, kind group with a patient-first mentality.
Not everyone is appropriate for TMS and our first priority is to help you find relief from OCD and get back to living the way you want. We have psychiatrists specialized in treating OCD who can help to provide a comprehensive treatment program that can include medications, connections to behavioral therapists in the community, reading and social media resources, and TMS if indicated.
Prior to your appointment, our TMS Specialist will first gather basic information about your symptoms and treatment history. From there, they will educate you on the basics of a TMS treatment course, insurance coverage, and answer other questions that you may have.
At your first appointment, you will meet with our physician specializing in OCD treatment, currently located at our San Francisco office near UCSF. As OCD and related disorders are commonly under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis to identify appropriate and comprehensive treatments. At this visit, your doctor can discuss the various options and treatment protocols, as well as next steps towards treatment.
In 2018, BrainsWay Deep TMS was cleared by the FDA for the treatment of OCD, and TMS has been approved by the FDA for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) since 2008. This treatment stimulates areas of the brain that are known to be dysregulated in conditions such as depression and OCD, and may enhance the effectiveness of medications and behavioral therapy.
TMS treatments are safe, non-invasive, and require no anesthesia or sedation. It uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the parts of the brain that are known to be dysregulated in conditions such as depression and OCD. Over time, it can boost the effects of medications and therapy, encouraging the brain to regulate activity appropriately on its own.
TMS uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the parts of the brain that are dysregulated in conditions such as depression and OCD. A typical course of treatment consists of anywhere from 25-36 sessions administered over a four to six week period. Each session lasts approximately 20-30 minutes. Your doctor can discuss your personalized treatment plan and options with you at your consultation.
During the procedure, patients recline on the TMS chair, while an insulated coil (magnet) is placed over an area of the brain and magnetic pulses are delivered. Each session is observed by a certified technician. TMS is not the same as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), does not require anesthesia, and does not cause memory impairment. It is safe to drive to and from treatment and many patients receive treatment while continuing to work, go to school, and otherwise live their normal lives.