Nicotine addiction is more than just a physical problem. The affliction also causes physical dependence, which makes quitting that much more difficult. However, most people already know that stopping will provide much better future outcomes where health is concerned. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy (dTMS) has been a useful tool for helping people quit. Yet, the procedure is still relatively new, meaning that further research must be conducted on the brain therapy. This article will describe new research findings about deep transcranial magnetic stimulation and its usefulness as a smoking cessation technique.
What is dTMS?
Deep TMS therapy is a type of therapy that requires the use of electromagnetic pulses to stimulate the brain. Specific areas of the brain are targeted because they are believed to be the cause of the symptoms being treated. By stimulating these regions, dTMS helps to equalize any imbalances in cellular activity that may be contributing to illness. This technology was launched by Brainsway in January 2007. To accomplish penetration of the brain structures, people who undergo dTMS must wear a helmet that contains a equipment called an h-coil.
Undergoing the procedure is a painless process, which lasts for an average of 20 minutes. Completing a full course of treatment requires attendance each day of the week, for a duration of four to six weeks. As mentioned, receiving dTMS does not hurt, though some people do experience a headache during therapy, as well as pain at the coil application site afterwards. Headaches typically dissipate during dTMS treatment, and are not severe. As well, patients may feel a tapping sensation and hear a similar sound; all people must wear earplugs during administration. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation is used in the treatment of a handful of conditions, depression being the most noteable. In recent times, researchers have attempted to obtain data about this brain therapy’s usefulness as a smoking cessation therapy.
New Findings on dTMS for Smoking Cessation
A new study (2014) published in the journal of Biological Psychiatry analyzed the ways in which smokers responded to deep transcranial magnetic stimulation. In total, 115 habitual smokers (at least 20 cigarettes per day) participated in the study; subjects were divided into three groups: no frequency, low frequency, or high frequency dTMS. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy was administered each day, for 13 days. Of those who received high frequency dTMS, 44% were abstinent from smoking after the fact. Six months later, follow up assessments indicated that the rate had fallen to 33%. Observations indicated that low frequency treatment did not produce similar outcomes. While further research on the adequacy of dTMS as an aid to help people stop smoking must be done, the results of this study provide statistically significant information.
Smoking is a habit that eventually becomes a physical and mental addiction. The damage that tobacco causes to health far outweighs the short term reward of nicotine consumption. Many people are aware that they need to quit, yet the addictive nature of cigarettes (and related products) makes this difficult. There are many tested resources available that make the process easier, and raise the likelihood of long term abstinence. New findings on deep transcranial magnetic stimulation indicate that this brain therapy may be helpful for some.