The use of TMS in autism spectrum disorders

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not equal. This makes it very difficult to correctly interpret the behavior of people with autism. There are no standard checklists. In addition, the clinical, social and financial burden of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is very large. Therefore, there is an urgent need for reliable and effective treatments that focus on the debilitating symptoms of ASD. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is used by a number of practices around the world and can be a new technique with both diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Oberman, Rotenberg and Pascual-Leone (2015) investigated this.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

In professional literature, the term “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) is used for five different forms of autism. An autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder in which information processing in the brain is disturbed. ASD starts at a young age and plays a role throughout life. It has consequences for many aspects of life, both for the child and his environment. It is good to emphasize we talk of a spectrum, because the disorder expresses itself differently for each person.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation. During a TMS treatment, an electromagnetic coil is held against the skull, above a certain area of ​​the brain. A magnetic field is generated in the coil. That field easily penetrates the skull (hence the term transcranial) and in turn causes an electrical current that stimulates nerve cells from the brain area just below the coil. As a result, abnormal brain activity can be adjusted, which reduces the symptoms. Often multiple, repeated TMS treatments are needed to reduce the symptoms. We are then talking about rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation).

Results of the investigation

Oberman, Rotenberg en Pascual-Leone (2015) investigated the use of rTMS in autism spectrum disorders. Although the preliminary results of the study are promising and suggest that specific rTMS treatments may lead to an improvement in specific behavioral deficits in some individuals with ASD, there is still insufficient evidence to indicate a significant result. Large-scale and controlled studies will be needed to determine the true potential of rTMS in ASD.

rTMS International

rTMS International is a practice with specialists who have experience with rTMS treatments. On the basis of a personal treatment plan, we look at what is the best rTMS protocol for a client.

Curious as to whether treatment with rTMS can help you? Then contact us soon.

Source: Oberman L. M., Rotenberg A., & Pascual-Leone A. (2015). Use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Autism Spectrum Disorders. HHS Public Access.