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Mental Health in the News: April 13, 2023

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Mental Health in the News

Brainsway Deep TMS Found Safe and Effective For Treating ADHD

A recent study conducted by medical technology company BrainsWay has concluded with promising results concerning the use of deep TMS for the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive therapy that uses a device called a coil to stimulate the brain with gentle electromagnetic pulses. It can treat a range of mental health conditions, including major depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and ADHD. The researchers discovered that BrainsWay’s proprietary ADHD coil, which is designed for deep and widespread stimulation, relieved ADHD more effectively than the standard figure-8 coil design of other TMS devices.

Researchers Dr. Hadar Shalev and Prof. Abraham Zangen observed 53 adult ADHD patients over a 3-week period. Participants were randomly allocated among three treatment groups with double-blind controls to avoid any bias. Each patient received five treatments a week of either deep TMS using BrainsWay’s coil, standard TMS using a figure-8 coil, or sham TMS (the placebo). At the end of the 3-week period, the researchers evaluated the treatment effects with standard ADHD rating scales, assessment tasks, and an EEG brain scan.

33% of individuals in the deep TMS group respond to the treatment by improving their scores on the ADHD rating scales, compared to 15% of those in the standard coil group and 8% in the sham group. The deep TMS group also demonstrated a significant average improvement of 8.25 points on the Conner’s Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS), while those in the standard and sham group improved by just 2.85 points and 1.86 points respectively. 

The researchers concluded that BrainsWay’s specialized ADHD H-Coil is not only safe and effective for treating ADHD, but has a significant advantage over other devices.To read the original news article, click here.

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New Study Reveals Potential of Deep TMS Therapy for Treating Depression

BrainsWay Ltd., a leading manufacturer of advanced non-invasive medical technology, recently published promising new research on the use of its transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices for the treatment of major depressive disorder.

TMS uses a device called a coil to administer barely perceptible magnetic waves into the brain. These waves target the specific brain regions associated with mental health disorders. By regulating the brain’s natural electrochemical activity, TMS relieves mental health symptoms. As a non-invasive, non-pharmacological therapy, TMS is a non-invasive and medication-free therapy option, particularly useful for patients who find traditional drugs ineffective or intolerable.

The study, “Pursuing personalized medicine for depression by targeting lateral or medial prefrontal cortex with Deep TMS,” was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) Insight. It compared BrainsWay’s Deep TMS H1 Coil and H7 Coil. The former targets the lateral prefrontal cortex; the latter, the medial prefrontal cortex. 169 treatment-resistant depression patients were enrolled in the study.

The results not only confirmed that both devices were effective in treating depression, but also revealed patterns in the patient population that could inform future research and treatment decisions. Based on the patient evaluation data (including clinical rating scales and EEG), researchers found that patients falling within a higher severity of a specific symptom cluster responded better to the H1 Coil, whereas the group with lower severity of the cluster had better results with the H7 Coil. This data can be used to personalize individual treatment and better predict the long-term outcomes of treatment with each device.

The study, which BrainsWay President and CEO Christopher von Jako, Ph.D., called a “significant milestone” for mental health disorders, represents a considerable step toward

personalized TMS treatment that will encourage the development of devices more effective in treating patients according to their unique profiles. 

To read the original article, click here.

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How To Quit Smoking: Tips From Dr. Colleen Hanlon

Quitting smoking is a consistently popular New Year’s resolution, but statistically, most of us never manage to commit to our resolutions past January. Beating an addiction is hard, but there are different techniques that can help smokers who really want to quit achieve success.

Dr. Colleen Hanlon, Vice President of Medical Affairs at BrainsWay, recently gave an interview on smoking addiction and why our brains seem to work against us when we’re trying to kick the habit.

Over the course of her scientific career, Dr. Hanlon has studied the brain processes behind addiction with a focus on smoking. Her interest in brain stimulation began when she witnessed how it was able to get animals to stop self-administering drugs in lab tests. Today she is an advocate for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a non-invasive mental health treatment method that uses a device to target brain regions with barely perceptible magnetic waves.

Dr. Hanlon noted that out of the 34 million adults who regularly smoke, 68% want to quit, but they face an uphill struggle. Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to break because of the way nicotine deeply affects the brain’s reward systems, triggering the impulse to smoke when exposed to certain cues.

Dr. Hanlon’s advice for smokers looking to quit includes:

  • Avoid triggers — situations or people that make you want to smoke
  • Delay and distract yourself with other activities when urge occurs
  • Don’t fool yourself into believing that you can have ‘just one’
  • Remember that getting past the first week is the hardest part; if you can get past the second, you’re on the right track
  • Don’t let relapses discourage you from trying again

Dr. Hanlon recommends BrainsWay’s Deep TMS therapy as a treatment for smoking addiction. This method was cleared by the FDA in 2020 for use as an aid for smoking cessation. The magnetic pulses transmitted by the TMS device modulate neural activity in the areas of the brain associated with addiction and impulse control. In controlled studies, individuals treated with TMS were twice as likely to quit smoking for a full month than those who received a placebo.

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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