If you have PTSD, chances are you’ve had personal experience with conventional treatments like medication and talk therapy. And like many, you may have discovered these types of treatment don’t always help.
We rarely hear about treatment-resistant PTSD, but it’s a reality that can leave patients depressed and limit their ability to work or enjoy life.
Kevin Murphy,MD, and the team at MindSet have worked with patients with a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including PTSD. As part of our medical practice, we offer personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (PrTMS) therapy. Though each patient responds differently, and there is no guarantee of success, PrTMS may be an option for patients who have not had sucess with conventional PTSD treatments.
Here’s what you need to know about why conventional PTSD treatments may fail and why PrTMS may be right for you.
An Option Where Conventional Therapy Hasn’t Worked
You’re not alone if your PTSD symptoms haven’t improved with conventional treatment. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is the recommended therapeutic approach, yet a 2015 study found that two-thirds of veterans still struggle with PTSD symptoms long after their therapy is over.
While there are medications to treat some of the individual symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping, there are only two medications, both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that have been approved by FDA for PTSD. Unfortunately, these medications don’t work for everyone.
The statistics tell the story. It’s estimated that 33% of people in the general population with PTSD are resistant to conventional treatments. Additionally, studies suggest as many as 50% of all patients don’t respond to cognitive behavioral therapy and 20% to 40% fail to improve with SSRIs.
If you have tried conventional therapies and they have not provided all the help you need, PrTMS may be able to help.
Here’s how PrTMS works
Let’s take a look at how the two components of PrTMS work together.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
TMS is a noninvasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate electrical activity in your brain. The nerves (neurons) in your brain carry electrical impulses that travel through the nerve and trigger the release of neurotransmitters.
When you get an electroencephalogram (EEG), the natural electrical current in your brain’s neurons is picked up and measured as brainwaves. Since researchers can evaluate brainwaves, they know the traumatic effect of PTSD can disrupt your normal electrical activity.
We use TMS to target the underactive areas of your brain. Sending magnetic pulses directly to those areas can improve electrical activity and cause more neurotransmitters to be released. This may help restore brain balance ansd improve symptoms.
It’s typical to receive TMS treatments five days a week for 6-8 weeks, but your protocol may be different because each person’s treatment is personalized.
The personalization we provide sets our therapeutic approach apart. If we determine PrTMS is right for you, we will take a baseline EEG and ask you to complete a questionnaire that gives us information about your symptoms.
Then, a MindSet physician will use a propriety algorithm to create a personalized plan that identifies the brain area(s) with disrupted brainwaves and the intensity of the magnetic impulses needed for your treatment.
Every week, we perform an EEG and use the results to map your brainwaves. Armed with this information, we can closely follow your brain activity and adjust your treatment as needed.
If you’d like to learn more about PrTMS and whether it may be right for you, call MindSet to schedule an appointment today.
PrTMS is a method of developing and using personalized treatment plans for rTMS therapy. It is not a product, and is not FDA approved.