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TMS for Autism

While more research needs to be done on TMS therapy as a treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), doctors are hopeful that TMS can become a safe and effective treatment option for individuals with ASD. Studies on adults with autism show that TMS may help reduce symptoms of irritability and repetitive behaviors and help them improve their hand-eye coordination and social skills.

Doctors believe that TMS may also be beneficial to younger people with ASD, but more research needs to be done on children. Many physicians who use TMS to treat children and adolescents with ASD report that it has helped to improve verbal skills, behavior, and repetitive behaviors as well.

Is TMS an appropriate treatment for children?

While TMS may sound good in theory, parents are obviously concerned about any type of therapy administered to their child’s brain. However, a study (Yang et al., 2019) reported significant reduction in social and language related symptoms after children with ASD underwent TMS treatment courses. The study also reported possible improvements in cognition and imitation as reported by caregivers. The study saw promise in TMS to improve core deficits in low-functioning children with ASD.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses a polar magnetic field created from coiled conductors to stimulate currents along the glial lines instead of through them.  Due to the small magnetic field area, TMS can only treat specific parts of the brain.  Because the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPC) interconnects with many brain areas, correcting inhibition deficits in this area could create a therapeutic cascade that could normalize the functionality of associations across the entire brain.

In a study by Krishnan et al. (2014) noninvasive brain stimulation techniques such as TMS were examined to assess the safety of using TMS when administered to children and adolescents.

The study found repetitive TMS to be safe in children and adolescents when safety guidelines were followed. Out of 513 children (or adolescents) involved in the study, 11.5% experienced headaches, 2.5% experienced scalp discomfort, 1.2% experienced twitching, and a very small percentage experienced mood changes, fatigue and tinnitus (Krishnan et al., 2014).

When looking at anecdotal evidence of pain and discomfort experienced during TMS treatment, the verdict seems positive. The treatment is generally well tolerated, and some feel the lack of serious side effects make it a great alternative for those sensitive to medication.


ABOUT TMS DIRECTORY | TMS Directory is Connecting TMS Communities by connecting patients with a TMS therapy provider in their geographic region.  Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a leading-edge technology that gently uses magnetic waves to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. TMS is a non-invasive treatment most commonly used for the treatment of major depression but is often used to treat the symptoms associated with several other neuropsychiatric disorders.

TMS THERAPY | TMS therapy is a useful tool for treatment-resistant depression and other neuropsychiatric conditions in patients who have failed to respond to medication or other treatments, such as psychotherapy.

TMS HELPS | If you are someone who suffers from depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, or another condition, and you are seeking TMS therapy as a treatment option – TMS Directory can connect you with a licensed TMS physician or provider in your area who specializes in treating your condition with the most advanced forms of medicine.

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