Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can significantly affect your life, impacting your ability to focus, concentrate, and achieve your full potential.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is an innovative non-invasive procedure that uses gentle magnetic waves to stimulate brain activity with pronounced effects on brain function and behavior.
For many people, TMS is a miracle therapy that works when other treatments have not. It can be a life-changing experience - contact us today to see if TMS could be for you.
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects 7.2% of children and 3.4% of adults worldwide. It can impact someone's ability to concentrate, feel motivated, and control their behavior. People with ADHD often find daily life more difficult than others and can be misunderstood by those around them.
People are usually diagnosed with ADHD as children or young adults. In children, ADHD typically manifests as restlessness, difficulty concentrating, inability to focus, and difficulty controlling behavior. While it's normal for children to act in these ways sometimes, those with ADHD tend to show these traits much more than their peers.
ADHD tends to display differently in adults than in children. Adults are less likely to be hyperactive but may still have difficulty focusing and finishing tasks efficiently. It's often more challenging to identify ADHD in adults - many people do not know that they have ADHD but find that everyday tasks can be demanding. They may miss deadlines, forget about social arrangements, or find it difficult to prioritize.
ADHD symptoms in adults include:
- Poor time management
- Difficulty completing a task
- Problems multitasking
- Poor planning
- Becoming frustrated easily
- Mood swings
- Difficulty coping with stress
How Can You Improve Symptoms of ADHD?
Many people with ADHD look for ways to alleviate symptoms to make everyday life more manageable. However, almost 30% of people find current pharmacological treatments ineffective or intolerable. Pharmacological treatments also fail to produce long-term effects and require chronic use of medication.
TMS is an innovative therapy that can produce life-changing results for clients with ADHD and other mental disorders. It has few side effects and can induce changes in brain function and behavior that persist after the end of a treatment course.
What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that uses gentle magnetic waves to stimulate specific areas of the brain. TMS can affect brain activity in areas of cells involved in regulating mood and behavior, leading to significant improvements in symptoms of several mental disorders. TMS is relatively painless and has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of major depression.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a type of transcranial magnetic stimulation that sends a train of repetitive magnetic pulses to stimulate brain activity. rTMS courses typically involve daily sessions of up to an hour in length for nine weeks. Most TMS treatments for mental health conditions involve rTMS, and people may use the terms interchangeably.
How Does TMS Therapy Treat ADHD Symptoms?
People living with ADHD tend to have different functional and structural patterns in certain areas of neurons. Studies have found that the right ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices may be underactive, affecting inhibitory control and attention. TMS therapy may help increase activity and improve control and attention in clients by stimulating these areas.
Scientists have conducted clinical trials into the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on children and young adults living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. According to a review of neural stimulation in ADHD, most studies agree that increasing activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) or decreasing activity in the left DLPFC could improve ADHD symptoms.
Recently, a 2020 pilot study on adults with ADHD found that TMS was safe and effective in treating ADHD, alleviating symptoms over a three-week treatment period. The clinical trial used magnetic pulses to stimulate the left and right DLPFC. It defined the primary outcome measure as the total change in ADHD symptoms (using the CAARS self-assessment) and the secondary outcome measures as response rate and other sub-scales of symptom change.
The study found that only the treatment group receiving TMS therapy showed significant improvements in total ADHD symptoms. Analysis of the secondary outcome measure of response rate also showed a significant difference between the group receiving rTMS and the sham control group. The study recommended further research into the length of the treatment and the addition of maintenance treatments to explore the full potential of TMS for ADHD.
Read more: How much does TMS Therapy Cost
TMS therapy is a novel and innovative treatment with colossal potential. It is a safe alternative to traditional pharmaceutical treatments that are intolerable or ineffective for many people. By altering underlying neurological behavior, TMS may also be able to induce long-term changes in clients where medicinal treatment cannot.
What Can You Expect from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy is a non-invasive treatment, meaning it does not require surgery or pierce the skin. You remain conscious throughout a treatment session and can communicate with your therapist. TMS has very few side effects - the most common side effects are mild headaches and scalp discomfort.
You can continue normal activities immediately after a TMS session and drive to and from the treatment facility. Research has shown that rTMS therapy is most effective when clients participate in multiple sessions with a break between sessions, and most TMS courses consist of daily sessions of up to an hour in length. This allows clients to fit TMS into their daily schedule alongside other work and home responsibilities.
The Mapping Session
Your first session is usually a bit different from the rest of the treatment course as your TMS therapist needs to locate the target area of brain cells on your head. This process is called the mapping session.
During the mapping session, your therapist will place the medical device on your head and pass single magnetic pulses over the scalp. During this session, they are looking for an area known as the primary motor cortex that is involved in many important functions, including muscle contraction. Your therapist will change the location of the pulse until they observe a twitch in your right hand, signaling they have located the cortex.
After locating the cortex, your therapist will be able to locate the specific areas of brain cells involved in treating ADHD. They will also determine your motor threshold - the minimum intensity of magnetic pulse needed to induce a motor response.
During the mapping session, your therapist may use a white cap to mark the location of the target areas for use in subsequent sessions. Future sessions will involve stimulating the relevant brain cells to produce meaningful changes to brain function and behavior to improve symptoms of ADHD.
Related article: Is TMS safe during pregnancy?
What Are the Side Effects of TMS Therapy?
TMS has very few side effects compared to other treatment methods.
Common side effects are mild and tend to disappear soon after each treatment session. They also typically decrease with the course of treatment.
Common side effects may include:
- Mild headaches
- Slight scalp discomfort
- Tingling, spasms, or twitching of facial muscles
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Some clients may experience moderate headaches or more severe scalp discomfort. Your TMS therapist may be able to alleviate these effects by adjusting the position of the TMS helmet and the intensity of the pulses. Maintaining good communication with your therapist throughout the treatment phase helps keep side effects to a minimum.
While TMS therapy comes with a very small (less than 1%) risk of seizures, serious adverse side effects are rare. If you are concerned about the side effects of TMS, contact our center today for expert advice from our team.
ADHD and Co-Occurring Conditions
Some people living with ADHD also experience other co-occurring disorders that can make treatment more challenging. These include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders.
At GIA Miami, we understand that every client is unique. We design an individualized treatment plan for each client, utilizing the treatment technologies that best suit their needs. We treat each client as a whole, treating co-occurring disorders alongside ADHD.
Read more: Pros and Cons of TMS Therapy
What Other Conditions Can TMS Treat?
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions. At GIA Miami, we offer TMS therapy for a range of disorders, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), postpartum depression, and addiction.
Scientists first developed TMS therapy to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), and in 2008 it gained FDA clearance as a safe and effective therapy for clients with treatment-resistant depression. In 2021, deep TMS gained FDA approval for treating anxiety symptoms in major depression and for treatment-resistant OCD.
Meanwhile, scientists have been exploring the use of TMS therapy for other conditions, with promising results. Clinical studies have found that TMS is an effective treatment for bipolar disorder that can improve cognitive symptoms across six domains.
Pioneering research by the GIA team and other experts worldwide has found that transcranial magnetic stimulation can also effectively treat substance use disorders, including cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine addiction. Clinical trials have found that TMS may aid smoking cessation and reduce alcohol consumption. Clients may participate in TMS alongside other treatments, such as nicotine patches and talk therapies.
In the European Economic Area (EEA), several types of TMS technologies are CE-marked treatments for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, epilepsy, tms for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and smoking cessation.
Our Team at GIA Miami
GIA Miami is led by a team of medics and scientists with unrivaled expertise in transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy and the fields of addiction science and substance abuse.
Read more: What is the success rate of TMS Therapy
Dr. Antonello Bonci is the founder and Executive Chairman of GIA Miami. He worked with the National Institute of Health (NIH) as the Scientific Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for almost 10 years before founding the treatment center.
Read more: Pros and Cons of TMS Therapy
Between 1999 and 2010, he was a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and has served as an Associate Director for Extramural Affairs at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center.
Dr. Bonci and his collaborators are pioneers in TMS therapy. They have conducted ground-breaking research into the use of TMS therapy for a range of conditions, including cocaine use disorders and other types of addiction. Dr. Bonci and his team have received global recognition for their exceptional work at the forefront of medical science.
Contact Us Today
If you are interested in TMS therapy, there is no better place to be than GIA Miami. We harness our world-class expertise to deliver innovative and effective treatment with compassion and respect. We maintain a focus on the individual throughout the treatment process. Every client is important to us, and we're here to work for you.
GIA Miami offers innovative treatment technologies from the forefront of medical science in custom packages just for you. If ADHD is impacting your daily life, contact us today. We're here to help you thrive and achieve your full potential.