FDA Approves Deep TMS for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Marketing transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of OCD

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to deep TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) being marketed for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder, following a review of data showing the system’s effectiveness of the treatment for improving OCD.

Carlos Pena, PhD, MS, director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said:

“Transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown its potential to help patients suffering from depression and headaches. With today’s marketing authorization, patients with OCD who have not responded to traditional treatments now have another option.”

TMS treatment works in a very different way to other therapies, as it stimulates nerve cells in the brain through magnetic fields, restoring and improving neural pathways.

For more information see https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm617244.htm

FDA Approvals for TMS

The Food and Drug Administration is an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services, charged with protecting public health with regard to safety, effectiveness and security of drugs, vaccines and medical devices as well as the USA’s food supply, cosmetics and supplements. Its remit also includes products that give off electronic radiation and tobacco products.

  • 2008 – FDA permitted marketing of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) for depression
  • 2013 – FDA approved marketing of TMS for migraine
  • 2018 – FDA approved marketing of deep TMS for OCD

TMS Studies

The FDA approval comes after the successful treatment of OCD using rTMS.

Arns reported in 2018 that rTMS can lead to remission in about 30% of OCD patients and a clinically significant improvement in 55% who had failed to respond to medication and psychotherapy.

UK rTMS Treatment for OCD

rTMS is currently much more widely used in the UK due to its ability to stimulate at a limited and clearly defined location.

At SmartTMS, we have successfully provided rTMS treatment for OCD patients for several years now and have experienced first-hand the impact it can have on our patients lives.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is a chronic mental health condition in which the patient suffers from uncontrollable and recurring thoughts and behaviours. Common symptoms may include

  • Worry about losing self-control or causing an accident, resulting in repeated safety checks
  • Fear of contamination, disease, infection or dirt, resulting in obsessive hand washing or cleaning
  • Need for order or symmetry
  • Coping mechanisms such as counting or repeating certain phrases

OCD has a major impact on the patient’s daily life.  The most common treatment is currently medication or psychotherapy such as CBT, or a combination of both; but these are not always effective.

UK Approvals for TMS

In the UK, rTMS was approved by NICE in 2015 as an effective and safe method of treating depression.  Treatment for this and a range of other conditions such as OCD, PTSD, DPD, BPD and addiction is for private patients at Smart TMS, a specialist provider of the innovative treatment with an expanding network of locations around the UK and Ireland.

Contact Us

For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:

Tel: 0345 222 5678

Email: info@smarttms.co.uk