Are you searching for a breakthrough in OCD treatment? Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) may just be the beacon of hope you’ve been seeking. This non-invasive therapy has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in alleviating OCD symptoms where conventional treatments have fallen short. In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve into the intricacies of TMS therapy for OCD, examining its effectiveness, potential side effects, and accessibility while also shedding light on its cost implications.


Key Takeaways

  • Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS) stands as an FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment for OCD that has been proven effective while boasting minimal side effects. Deep TMS distinguishes itself from traditional TMS by targeting deeper brain regions compared using a specialized H-coil helmet.
  • The treatment process of deep TMS involves daily sessions, each personalized to with a controlled exposure to OCD triggers in a safe environment. While initial improvements are often observed within the course of treatment, some patients may require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain progress.


What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a prevalent mental health condition affecting approximately 1.2% of the population.¹ Defined by anxiety-inducing thoughts and compulsive behaviors, OCD can profoundly disrupt various aspects of daily life, including routines, job performance, educational pursuits, and interpersonal relationships. This disruption often leads to feelings of isolation and distress among individuals grappling with the disorder.


What Causes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

The etiology of OCD remains multifaceted, with factors such as biological changes, genetic predispositions, learned behaviors, and stressful life events all implicated in its development. 


Personal History’s Impact

Life experiences often set the stage for OCD. Childhood trauma or significant life events can activate coping mechanisms, such as compulsions and obsessions, to manage overwhelming anxiety. These experiences highlight the importance of addressing past traumas to understand and treat OCD effectively.


The Role of Biology

Researchers have identified serotonin imbalances that suggest a link between OCD and suboptimal brain chemistry. Disrupted mood regulation affects how the brain processes thoughts and emotions, further contributing to OCD symptoms. 


The Genetic Connection

Family history can provide insights into OCD’s hereditary patterns, particularly when the disorder appears in childhood. 


PANDAS: A Distinct Pathway

In some cases, OCD follows a unique path triggered by infections, such as strep throat. Known as PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders), this connection between autoimmune responses and neuropsychiatric disorders opens new avenues for understanding and treating OCD.² Given the complex interplay of these factors, the quest for a highly effective treatment for OCD is imperative.


Understanding the Nuances: rTMS vs. dTMS in Mental Health Treatment

As we navigate the landscape of advanced therapies for mental health, it’s essential to understand the nuances between repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS). Both modalities offer groundbreaking approaches to treatment-resistant conditions, yet they operate on distinct principles and applications that cater to different aspects of mental health disorders.


rTMS, a well-established technique, primarily targets the surface layers of the brain, using a focused magnetic field to modulate neuronal activity. This method has been instrumental in treating a variety of conditions, including major depressive disorder, by stimulating areas of the brain associated with mood regulation. rTMS has been a cornerstone in the evolution of non-invasive treatments, providing relief for patients who have not responded to conventional therapies.


In contrast, dTMS offers a deeper and broader range of stimulation thanks to its unique H-coil design. This technology allows for the magnetic fields to penetrate more profoundly into the brain, reaching areas that are typically less accessible with rTMS. The depth and breadth of dTMS stimulation opened new avenues for treating conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which involves deeper brain circuitry. The specificity and intensity of dTMS make it a potent tool for addressing the complex neural pathways involved in OCD, offering a new layer of hope for patients seeking alternatives to traditional treatments.


The evolution of rTMS to dTMS brings us to a pivotal point in the treatment of mental health disorders. By leveraging the deeper penetration capabilities of dTMS, medical professionals can target brain regions more directly associated with OCD, offering a more tailored and potentially more effective treatment option.


What is Deep TMS Treatment for OCD?

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS) is an innovative therapeutic approach that harnesses magnetic fields to stimulate deeper brain regions implicated in OCD pathology. This cutting-edge treatment not only surpasses traditional TMS methods in efficacy but also instills renewed hope for individuals grappling with OCD symptoms.


In 2018, deep TMS received FDA approval as a safe OCD treatment, underscoring its robust safety profile, and clinical trials consistently affirm its efficacy.³ By targeting specific brain regions like the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, deep TMS offers tangible relief from OCD symptoms, heralding a paradigm shift in OCD treatment.


The Science Behind Deep TMS

At its core the Science behind Deep TMS, is that it represents an advanced iteration of repetitive TMS, orchestrating significant symptom relief through the modulation of neural activity by employing magnetic pulse stimulation, targeting specific brain regions implicated in OCD pathology. 


How Does Deep TMS Differ from Traditional OCD Treatment Methods?

The innovative design of deep TMS, characterized by its H-coil technology, offers deeper brain penetration compared to conventional TMS devices.⁴ This enhanced penetration, coupled with a broader magnetic field activation, optimizes treatment precision and effectiveness, setting deep TMS apart as a pioneering therapeutic modality.


Navigating the Deep TMS Treatment Journey

Generally, the deep TMS treatment protocol typically encompasses daily sessions spanning a six to eight-week period, with each session lasting approximately 18-20 minutes. During these sessions, patients may experience auditory sensations and mild discomfort as the magnetic fields stimulate targeted brain regions.


A hallmark of deep TMS therapy lies in its incorporation of personalized protocols tailored to each patient’s specific OCD fixations.⁵ This strategic integration enhances treatment efficacy by confronting OCD triggers head-on, thereby fostering meaningful progress and symptom alleviation.


Is Deep TMS an Effective Treatment of OCD?

Deep TMS has proven to be an effective treatment for OCD, as documented by clinical trials; one study involving data from twenty-two clinical sites reported that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in real-world settings.⁶ The study found that the overall first and sustained response rates were 72.6% and 52.4%, respectively, with a response rate of 57.9% in patients after 29 dTMS sessions. ​


Moreover, the benefits of deep TMS extend beyond mere symptom relief, offering improvements in patients’ overall quality of life.


Find Healing With Plus by APN Deep TMS Treatment

At Plus by APN, we are committed to providing a holistic approach to mental health treatment grounded in integrity, innovation, inspiration, respect, and connection. Our FDA-approved deep TMS therapy for OCD embodies our dedication to leveraging cutting-edge therapeutic modalities to empower individuals on their journey to wellness.


Clients at Plus by APN receive personalized evaluations and tailored treatment plans, which are meticulously monitored and adjusted to optimize therapeutic outcomes. Our compassionate team of professionals, including TMS coordinators, collaborate seamlessly to deliver warm, trustworthy, and hope-inspiring guidance throughout the treatment journey.


With multiple deep TMS locations in the United States including Dallas TMS, Fortworth and the UK and more, along with both in-person and telehealth therapy options, Plus by APN endeavors to ensure increased accessibility and continuous support for individuals seeking deep TMS treatment for OCD.


Frequently Asked Questions


Does TMS help with OCD?

TMS has demonstrated high effectiveness in treating OCD. Remarkably, over one-third of individuals who haven’t found relief with traditional treatments see significant improvement. Research indicates that about 45-55% of patients experience a reduction in OCD symptoms one month following treatment.⁷


Is TMS therapy FDA-approved for OCD?

Yes, the FDA has officially approved deep TMS therapy for OCD treatment. This expansion beyond its initial approval for major depression marks a significant milestone, offering new hope for individuals with OCD.


Is TMS for OCD covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) varies. While deep TMS received FDA approval for OCD treatment in 2018,³ insurance coverage is not universally guaranteed. You should consult your insurance provider or a deep TMS treatment provider for the most current information on coverage options.


Final Thoughts

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deep TMS) heralds a new era in OCD treatment, offering a non-invasive, safe, and highly effective therapeutic alternative for individuals grappling with the debilitating symptoms of OCD. With its robust safety profile, remarkable efficacy, and transformative potential, deep TMS represents a beacon of hope for individuals seeking relief from the burdens of OCD.

To begin your personalized treatment at our ultra-modern clinic, book a consultation deep TMS today! 



  1. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed 19 Feb. 2024. 
  2. Cocuzza, Salvatore et al. “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in PANS/PANDAS in Children: In Search of a Qualified Treatment-A Systematic Review and Metanalysis.” Children (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,2 155. 26 Jan. 2022, doi:10.3390/children9020155
  3. “FDA Permits Marketing of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 17 Aug. 2018, Accessed 15 Feb. 2024. 
  4. Levkovitz, Yechiel et al. “Efficacy and safety of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation for major depression: a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial.” World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) vol. 14,1 (2015): 64-73. doi:10.1002/wps.20199
  5. Tendler, Aron et al. “A Method to Provoke Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms for Basic Research and Clinical Interventions.” Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 10 814. 11 Nov. 2019, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00814
  6. Roth, Yiftach et al. “Real-world efficacy of deep TMS for obsessive-compulsive disorder: Post-marketing data collected from twenty-two clinical sites.” Journal of psychiatric research vol. 137 (2021): 667-672. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.11.009

Camprodon, Joan, et al. “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for OCD.” International OCD Foundation, Accessed 19 Feb. 2024.