TMS for Anxiety

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TMS for Anxiety

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has shown to be a promising alternative in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is a psychiatric condition that involves excessive and uncontrollable worry, more days than not, for at least 6 months.

Common symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder include:

  • Restlestness
  • Muscle Tension
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping


In our previous posts, we’ve discussed the success of TMS in treating severe depressive disorder, and hear you’ll discover how it’s effective in treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Although Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy are generally regarded as the first line of treatment, research has shown that only 50-60% of patients attain remission. This means that about half of all patients treated for anxiety (either in therapy or with medication) still feel anxious after treatment. However, new research on TMS for anxiety have shown TMS to be very effective in reducing the short- and long-term symptoms of anxiety. Results from a small open label study of 10 patients, given by a team from UCLA, showed a 60% response rate, and a 60% remission rate post treatment (6 month follow up) in GAD.

Influenced by these findings, a double-blind randomized controlled trial of TMS for GAD was conducted and presented at the 2014 American Psychiatric Association meeting. Protocols for both sham (placebo) and active treatment groups were identical, with all participants receiving five 15 minute treatments per week, targeting the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), for a total of six weeks. The active treatment group received 1 Hz for 15 minutes, totaling 900 pulses per session.

Results showed that 71% of the participants who received active TMS responded to treatment, with the primary outcome measure being 50% less anxiety symptoms, as measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS). Three months following treatment, 80% of the participants who received active TMS reported symptom remission, indicating that TMS on GAD provides sustained/tangible results. This means that TMS is a durable, long-term solution for treating anxiety.

If you are interested in TMS for anxiety for you or your loved one, please contact BHTMS today at (866) 867-4519.



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