Transcranial Neurostimulation (TCNS) for Addiction Treatment
What is Transcranial Neurostimulation?
What Is It Used For?
Transcranial neurostimulation is commonly used to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders highly resistant to pharmacotherapy. Such conditions include chronic pain, anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use disorder. For those who pharmacotherapy does not work for, TCNS offers another opportunity for them to get the help they want or need in order to overcome their conditions.2
Types of Transcranial Neurostimulation
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a psychiatric treatment that involves electronically inducing a generalized seizure to treat intractable mental problems. About seventy to one hundred and twenty volts are typically applied externally to the patient’s head, making for an approximate eight hundred milliamperes of direct current passing through the brain for a duration of one hundred milliseconds to six full seconds.
Such current flow may originate from temple to temple (bilateral ECT), or from the front to back of one side of the head (unilateral ECT).
Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure that involves the implantation of a neurostimulator that sends electrical impulses to specific targets in the brain, the brain nucleus, via the implanted electrodes.
This treatment is particularly used when dealing with movement disorders like Parkinson’s Disease, kinetic tremors, dystonia, and other conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and epilepsy.3
DBS alters brain activity in a regulated manner, although its basic principles and mechanisms are largely unknown.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is neuromodulation that uses electrodes to deliver a steady but low direct current. This mode was created to aid individuals suffering from brain injuries or neuropsychiatric disorders such as acute depressive disorder.4
Transcranial direct current stimulation does not employ alternating currents in contrast to cranial electrotherapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation.
What is TMS Therapy?
How TMS Therapy Works
An electromagnetic coil is placed near one’s forehead during an rTMS session. The electromagnet sends a painless magnetic pulse to nerve cells in the brain that controls mood and depression. Transcranial magnetic stimulation aims to stimulate brain regions that are underactive in depression.
Though the biology of why rTMS works is not fully known, magnetic brain stimulation appears to change the way the brain works to reduce depressive symptoms further and to help enhance mood.
rTMS is a magnetic brain therapy that can be conducted in various ways. Moreover, new and innovative approaches continue to evolve as professionals discover more about the treatment.
When is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Used?
TMS is often used as a last resort if a patient fails to respond positively to medications or psychotherapy, or if they experience severe side effects from such treatments.
Young people are generally the most populous candidates for TMS treatment, as they are more likely to experience adverse effects from antidepressants.
Who Should Avoid TMS?
While TMS is largely a safe treatment, it is not suitable for everyone. You should avoid trans magnetic stimulation if you have metal plates or shrapnel in your head, permanent piercings, or metallic ink tattoos. All these implants, except dental fillings and braces, are at risk of heating up during electromagnetic therapy. You should also avoid TMS treatment if:
- You are pregnant
- You have a brain injury
- You have frequent migraines
- You are taking other stimulants
- You are prone to seizures or have a history of epilepsy
- You have other pre-existing mental health conditions
Potential Side Effects of TMS
You must know that even if the risks of TMS treatment are minimal, they are nonetheless existent. Furthermore, such risks naturally depend on the frequency levels of trans magnetic stimulation. Some immediate and prolonged transcranial magnetic stimulation side effects include:
- Scalp irritation
- Loss of hearing
- Temporary pain and aches
- Temporary memory impairment
- Brief hypomania
Benefits of TMS Treatments
Reduced Risk of Side Effects
TMS Does Not Interfere with Driving
TMS is More Effective Than Other Treatments
TMS offers effective solutions to severe neurological and psychiatric disorders. In addition, of course, its various treatments, including magnetic depression therapy, offer a long-lasting solution to depression, unlike other medications.
TMS Can Eliminate the Need for Medication
Other Conditions TMS Helps With
TMS is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of autism in ways that other therapies have failed to achieve. The following are some of the TMS benefits in the treatment of autism:
- High rate of success in autism symptoms reduction.
- Non-invasive – the treatment is carried out entirely outside of the body.
- Non-sedative – no sedation is required, and the procedure is quite painless.
- Minimal side effects – in most patients, there are little to no side effects.
Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD
TMS therapy for anxiety is a substitute for antidepressants, especially for patients who do not respond to anxiety medication or psychotherapy. In such cases, TMS is performed to stimulate nerve cells and is mostly successful.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved electromagnetic therapy for depression in the form of rTMS in 2008. Since then, magnetic depression therapy has proven to be a viable tool for curing depressive disorder.5
In a 2018 report, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed that magnetic brain stimulation recorded huge success in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Similarly, in 2018, the FDA approved rTMS as a treatment for OCD. It is recommended that a person with OCD be treated with TMS where medications or psychotherapy have proven unsuccessful. Magnetic brain therapy will inhibit the brain nerves that stimulate hyperactivity and influence extreme OCD symptoms.
Other Conditions TMS Helps With
At Concise Recovery, our team of experts is equipped to help guide you to improving your mental health and substance use disorder through using TMS as a treatment option. Concise Recovery will help you or your loved ones as you take the first steps towards a seamless recovery.
Alongside mental health and substance use disorder, if you’re experiencing chronic pain or other issues that medications or pharmacotherapy didn’t help with, utilizing transcranial neurostimulation can also make a big difference in the steps to recovery and help. With its general lack of side effects and proven success rate for many people who undergo the treatment, TMS can be the option you or a loved one might have been looking for to jumpstart your own recovery.
If you are interested in learning more about our TMS treatment programs in Los Angeles, California, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with Concise Recovery today.