Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Trial Is Completed

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition in which patients experience obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as unwanted and cause anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors (eg, hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (eg, praying counting, repeating words) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession. These behaviors are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety.

 

OCD can be a highly debilitating condition. Zoloft, Prozac, Luvox, and Paxil are approved for OCD. A significant percentage of patients (40-60%) have only a partial or no response to medications. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another treatment modality, although many patients cannot tolerate intensive exposure therapy.

 

An alternative method for treating OCD is to target and regulate disordered circuits in the brain.  This approach to treatment has been approved by the FDA to treat depression though the use of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS). The area of the brain in which patients have hyperactivity during obsessions and compulsions is the anterior cingulate.  A novel dTMS coil has been specifically designed to target areas of the brain involved with OCD which is capable of reaching deeper targets in the brain such as the anterior cingulate. The safety of dTMS was evaluated in a numerous safety studies conducted initially on healthy volunteers and subsequently on subjects suffering from mental disorders, including depression, bipolar depression and others.

 

Advanced Mental Health Care Inc. is participating in an international clinical trial seeking to examine the benefits of dTMS for OCD. In this controlled, randomized, double blind trial, dTMS treatment will be compared to sham treatment. The treatment group will receive 5 weeks of daily dTMS treatment followed by 4 treatments in week 6. The control group will receive the same treatments with a sham coil. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes and is done on an outpatient basis.

 

In the current study, patients will undergo a highly individualized provocation paradigm before each treatment. For example, a patient with contamination obsessions and washing compulsions may be asked, “When was the last time you used a bathroom? Are you sure your washed your hands?” An individual who has symmetry obsessions and ordering compulsions could be provoked by imagining that someone had gone into her office and moved her books and papers to different locations.

 

All study participants will receive free medical visits with a psychiatrist and weekly assessments. Although only half the group will receive the active dTMS treatment, all patients will be given a form of exposure therapy, which is a critical part of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Participants will be compensated for travel time. If you have questions regarding participating in this trial, please contact Dr. Aron Tendler at 561-333-8884 or via email at aron.tendler@gmail.com.