Research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders has shown that standard Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was made more effective when combined with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment (rTMS).
The group receiving rTMS before Cognitive Processing Therapy showed significantly greater reductions in PTSD symptoms compared to a control group that received only CPT.
In addition, those who had rTMS treatment as well as CPT had better results after 3 and 6 months, showing a longer term benefit as well as short term.
Studies demonstrating the potential of rTMS for treating PTSD are not new – the first were around 15 years ago.
However, Dr. John Hart Jr from The University of Texas at Dallas, who was part of the team of researchers, said:
“What was novel about our study was that we weren’t using rTMS as a treatment on its own.
“We were using it to enhance the effects of cognitive processing therapy, which we know works. We wanted to test whether we could make CPT more effective by adding the targeted rTMS.”
CPT therapy helps PTSD patients to process the causes and symptoms of their condition, learning how to deal with them.
Dr. Michael Motes said:
“CPT alone is very effective—the results of the group that didn’t receive rTMS confirm that.
“But by adding rTMS, we saw increases in the reduction of PTSD symptoms within five weeks of therapy, and the added benefit of rTMS was still present when we tested the participants six months after they had finished therapy. These reductions were in both our participants’ self-reported ratings of their symptoms and in the clinicians’ evaluations.”
Dr Hart continued by
“Often people seem to feel that experiencing PTSD or seeking treatment is a sign of weakness. However, there’s nothing that we are aware of that immunizes you from PTSD. Veterans are not the only ones dealing with PTSD. There are first responders, attack victims and witnesses, natural disaster survivors, automobile accident survivors and abuse survivors.
“We approach PTSD as a neurobiological disorder of memory where the threatening aspects of a traumatic memory persist and lead to debilitating symptoms that greatly impact a person’s life.”
Read In Full
The published research can be found in the Journal of Affective Disorders at https://www.jad-journal.com/article/S0165-0327(17)31575-6/fulltext.
Dublin TMS Clinic
Smart TMS offer private rTMS treatment for PTSD at their RTMS Dublin Clinic.
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