Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS) is a type of brain stimulation technique where pulsed magnetic fields are generated by a coil placed on the scalp. This field activates the neuronal circuits at the target brain area, resulting in symptom improvement. It is clinically used for treatment of some difficult cases of depression.
Dr Lior Carmi (along with Prof. Joseph Zohar and Prof. Abraham Zangen), from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Israel, led an international group of scientists in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial (RCT) spread over 11 centres. 99 patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder were assigned to either be treated with dTMS, or to receive pretend treatment (sham treatment). All the patients in the trial had previously failed to respond to antidepressant treatment.
Dr - Carmi - Point - Trial - Patients
Dr Carmi said "An interesting point about this trial is that we deliberately provoked the patients for about 5 minutes before each dTMS session. We did this by tailoring a provocation for each patient according to their own specific OCD obsessions. For example, if someone had obsessions about getting contaminated, we exposed him to a situation in which these obsessions where aroused, for instance, touching a bathroom's door handle or the trash can. Another example would be if someone had obsessions regarding not closing the water tap at home, we deliberately aroused the doubt about that. All these exposures were designed for each individual patient. During the first meeting with the patient we learned his symptoms and created a list of which exposures to use during the study. The idea is to deliver the treatment when the brain circuitry is aroused and not while the patient is thinking about the shopping he needs to do after the session will be over."
The sessions consisted of 6 weeks of daily dTMS (20Hz) treatment focused on specific areas of the brain...
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