Thursday, October 13th, 2011
Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a medical application of electromagnetic technology. It essentially relies on the fact that neurons communicate via chemical-electric signals; hence, like other electrical signals, neuronal communication should be able to be influenced by external magnetic fields, or pulses.
The Jerusalem-based company Brainsway has been applying deep TMS technology to potentially treat a number of clinical conditions, some of which have been previously reported here in Medgadget, such as depression, attention deficit disorder, and smoking addiction. Now, the company reports initial positive findings in a small trial of Alzheimer’s patients treated with deep TMS.
According to Brainsway’s press release:
The interim results are for 24 patients that were divided into three groups: a sham stimulation control group, a low-frequency (1 Hz) treatment group and a high-frequency (10 Hz) treatment group. Each subject received treatment over 8 weeks, and the efficacy of the treatment was evaluated both during the trial and over the course of the subsequent 8-week period.
The treatment was well-tolerated by all subjects, with no side-effects, except for one incident involving a sham control subject, which the principal investigator believes to be unrelated to the treatment.
The trial used the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale – Cognitive (ADAS-Cog) test (the main efficacy scale used in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials), as well as additional accepted scales of disease severity (CGI, ADL, CDR) and a quality-of-life scale (QoL Caregiver Scale) to assess the efficacy of treatment. These are the main assessment scales used to evaluate efficacy in the literature.
Analysis of ADAS-Cog results revealed a 4.2-point improvement in the high-frequency treatment group, compared with a 1.8-point improvement in the sham control group, and a 1.4-point deterioration in the scores of the low-frequency treatment group, the latter occurring mainly during the 8 weeks post treatment. In addition, in the high-frequency treatment group, severity of cognitive impairment at entry into the trial was correlated with clinical improvement (the more severe the cognitive impairment, the more the patient improved following treatment).
CDR, ADL, CGI and QoL Caregiver Scale scores indicated that high-frequency treatment halted the deterioration of the disease and even produced a moderate improvement relative to sham treatment. Similar to the ADAS-Cog test results, these scores also indicated a worsening in the condition of patients treated with low-frequency electromagnetic stimulation.
The principle investigator commented, “The interim results from the trial indicate that Deep TMS therapy for Alzheimer’s disease patients is safe and side-effect-free. Although the small sample size somewhat hampers our ability to draw any definitive conclusions concerning treatment efficacy, the results nonetheless suggest that high-frequency treatment leads to improvement on Alzheimer’s disease assessment scales, whereas low-frequency and sham treatment do not.”
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) has been named one of the “five big developments in neuroscience to watch,” by Forbes.com on June 17. The article highlighted new research that uses TMS for brain injury treatment. Currently, TMS is being used for treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, Parkinson’s disease, migraines and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The use of TMS for brain injuries could prove to have a significant impact on the treatment of a variety of neurological conditions.
At South Shore Neuropsychiatric Center Dr. Fruitman and his staff are committed to keeping up with the advancements in TMS therapy to better serve our patients. Because TMS is now becoming a treatment option for various psychiatric and physical ailments, we have been able to successfully treat patients with depression, ADHD and Parkinson’s, and hope to begin TMS therapy for migraines and PTSD, as well as brain injuries after research has been concluded.
After completing treatment, our patients have experienced a tremendous increase in the level of daily functioning. We hope to continue these successes through expanding our treatment approach and the practice by advocating whole body wellness.
Friday, August 6th, 2010
(content copied from hotspotz.com) Could magnets make the mind grow stronger? In mice at least, stimulating the brain with a magnetic coil appears to promote the growth of new neurons in areas associated with learning and memory. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it might open up new ways of treating age-related memory decline and diseases like Alzheimer’s.Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used experimentally to treat a range of brain disorders, including depression and schizophrenia, and torehabilitate people after a stroke.
TMS uses a magnetic coil to induce electric fields in the brain tissue – activating or deactivating groups of neurons, although the exact mechanism has remained unknown. One theory was that it aided learning and memory by strengthening brain circuits through a process called long-term potentiation (LTP).To investigate, Fortunato Battaglia at the City University of New York and his colleagues gave mice TMS for five days, then analysed their brains for evidence of LTP or cell proliferation.They confirmed that TMS enhanced LTP in all areas of the braintested, by modifying key glutamate receptors so that they stayed active for longer. The team also saw large increases in the proliferation of stem cells in the dentate gyrus hippocampus. These cells divide throughout life and are now believed to play a crucial role in memory and mood regulation.
posted by southshoretms.com
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
New research is being done on other psychiatric disorders to show the efficacy of TMS Therapy.Published by Strafella et al on medscape.com showed TMS applied to the left mid dorsolateral prefrontal cortex induced the release of dopamine as a consequence of direct stimulation. This increase dopamine concentration decreases symptoms of ADHD. Studies have already proven the benefit of increased dopamine in the treatment of ADHD and now there is an alternative to medication treatment for those patients diagnosed with ADHD.
Monday, July 12th, 2010
According to a recently published medical study, there is new hope for alternatives to meds in the treatment of certain brain dysfunctions. Meds won’t be the only hope for relief for those suffering from epilepsy, depression, ADHD, and other types of brain dysfunctions.
According to the study published on the ASU news website:
The ability to diagnose and treat brain dysfunction without surgery may rely on a new method of non-invasive brain stimulation using pulsed ultrasound. This method has been developed by a team of scientists, led by William “Jamie” Tyler, a neuroscientist at Arizona State University.
The approach, published in the journal Neuron on June 9, shows that pulsed ultrasound not only stimulates action potentials in intact motor cortex in mice, but it also “elicits motor responses comparable to those only previously achieved with implanted electrodes and related techniques,” said Yusuf Tufail, the lead author from ASU’s School of Life Sciences.
Other techniques such as transcranial magnetic and deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive shock therapy and transcranial direct current stimulation are used to treat a range of brain dysfunctions, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, coma, dystonia, psychoses and depression. However, most of these approaches suffer from “critical weaknesses,” Tyler said, including requirements for surgery, low-spatial resolution or genetic manipulations. Optogenetics, for example, is one state-of-the-art technology that merges genes from plants and other organisms with the intact brains of animals to offer control of neural circuitry.
“Scientists have known for more than 80 years that ultrasound can influence nerve activity,” Tufail said. “Pioneers in this field transmitted ultrasound into neural tissues prior to stimulation with traditional electrodes that required invasive procedures. Those studies demonstrated that ultrasound pre-treatments could make nerves more or less excitable in response to electrical stimulation.
“In our study, however, we used ultrasound alone to directly stimulate action potentials and drive intact brain activity without doing any kind of surgery.”
“It is fascinating to witness these effects firsthand,” he added. Tufail is one of four doctoral students in ASU’s School of Life Sciences who worked with Tyler on the project. The team also included Alexei Matyushov, a physics undergraduate student in ASU’s Barrett Honors College working with Tyler, and Nathan Baldwin, a doctoral student in bioengineering, and Stephen Helms Tillery, an assistant professor, with ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“We knew from some of our previous work that ultrasound could directly stimulate action potentials in dishes containing slices of brain tissue,” Tyler said. “Moving to transmit ultrasound through the skin and skull to stimulate the intact brain inside a living animal posed a much greater challenge.”
For parents whose children are on a range of medications with significant associated side effects with the propensity toward long term permanent damage, the ultrasound technology appears to be a great choice. One Gilbert family whose use of certain medications for their son’s depression, wound up permanently damaging their son’s thyroid. Here is their account:
“It was one of those side effects glossed over by the doctors and pharmacists, kindof like an ‘Oh by the way…this never happens, but it could…’
It almost never happens, but it happened to us. We were saddened, and angered by a few issues we had with medications, and the doctors who so cavalierly prescribe them.
We were upset with the doctor for a few reasons.
The first being that the medication caused his thyroid to konk out. A complete shutdown of an organ responsible for regulating a variety of key systems.
The second issue was that it took 6 months to find out that his system was dangerously out of balance, and growing further and further out of balance with every day. His body wasn’t making a key regulatory chemical and he had a very dangerous case of hypothyroid. If a ‘normal’ reading was between 4 and 6, our son’s thyroid function was 95.
An immediate anger flashes through you, and a gut reaction is to call someone and yell. Then you realize it does no good to yell right now. You book yet another doctor appointment with yet another specialist. Great! Just what we needed!!!
The study goes on to say:
“We’ve come a long way from the observations of Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician in the 1st century A.D. who placed electric torpedo fish on headache sufferers’ foreheads to ease their pain,” Tyler said. “Our method paves the way for using sound waves to study and manipulate brain function, as well as to diagnose and treat its dysfunction.”
To read the complete study – visit: ASU news site
posted by www.southshoretms.com