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November 30, 2020

In the United States, between two to three million adults and teens have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While the COVID pandemic has exacerbated all mental health conditions, a new treatment is available for those suffering from this debilitating disorder. Active Recovery TMS, an Oregon-based clinic specializing in treating depression, can now offer this groundbreaking treatment to people experiencing OCD.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a non-invasive treatment for OCD patients whose symptoms have not improved with traditional talk therapy or medication. TMS uses a highly focused, pulsed magnetic field (similar to an MRI) to stimulate the brain regions involved in mood regulation. It was FDA-cleared for use in the treatment of OCD in 2018.

Thirty to sixty percent of OCD patients are treatment-resistant and do not respond to talk therapy or at least two antidepressant prescription treatments. For these patients, TMS is one of the few viable options. Because TMS is a non-invasive procedure, side effects are rare but most commonly include discomfort at the treatment site or a mild headache.  These are generally resolved in the first few treatments. TMS technicians monitor and mitigate a patient’s side effects by reducing stimulation or taking over-the-counter medications before the procedure. 

In comparison, antidepressants are associated with a wide range of side effects, including blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, gastrointestinal distress, headache or migraine, insomnia, nausea, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain.

Peer-reviewed studies for treating OCD with TMS  have shown significant improvement in patients’ Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores. YBOCS is the standard measurement for obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms. Forty-five percent of patients in the active treatment group had a substantial improvement in these scores compared with 17% in the sham (placebo) treatment group. 

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About Active Recovery TMS: Active Recovery TMS seeks to provide a safe and effective alternative treatment for depression and OCD with transcranial magnetic stimulation, a compelling option for those who have not had success with standard depression treatments like medication and/or psychotherapy. It opened the first clinic in NW Portland in 2017 and has rapidly grown to five locations across the Portland metro and greater Willamette Valley.

Courtney Marti, Director of Marketing, (503) 319-1259