In the September 15, 2015 article in the ALZ Forum, titled "Magnet Test Finds Cortex Overexcitable in All ALS" the author is excited about the possibilities of TMS Therapy to test for ALS in patients exhibiting symptoms of the degenerative disease.
"Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)—as a test, not a treatment—allows researchers to examine motor cortex function easily and painlessly in people. The researchers hold an electromagnetic coil against the scalp to stimulate the neurons that control a certain muscle, say, the thumb. Then they measure how much current it takes to make that thumb twitch. In several studies, Vucic and others noted that less current was needed to trigger movement in ALS patients, indicating that their motor cortex neurons were hyper excitable."
"While multiple research groups use TMS in this way, the increased hyperexcitability parallels other observable symptoms. For this reason, few clinicians have adopted TMS as a diagnostic test, said Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who did not participate in the study." However, he said "Researchers have rekindled an interest in TMS because it may be useful in clinical trials. Researchers could use TMS as a quick test to check if drugs reduce excitability, and if patients benefit."
In speaking with Dr. Bob Sammons, M.D., Ph.D., and co-founder of TMS Solutions of Colorado and Idaho, he states that the initial use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was for diagnostic purposes in neurology using single pulse TMS and it continues today. In an article about measuring and comparing cortical hyperactivity in asymptomatic carriers and patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the researchers used repetitive TMS for diagnosis instead of its general use as treatment. In this research, patients with ALS were found to have cortical hypersensitivity compared to the asymptomatic carriers. Dr. Pascual-Leone commented on the research saying that this technique may prove useful in the future to test if medications reduce excitability.
"Pascual-Leone suggested that TMS measurements are more objective than some clinical observations of ALS symptoms, and could serve as a biomarker to enable personalized medicine in the future. Based on a person’s degree of cortical excitability, physicians might determine the best treatment, and use TMS to follow whether the drug affects the cortex as desired, Pascual-Leone speculated."
Dr. Sammons looks forward to seeing more possibilities where TMS Therapy can be utilized for treating diseases such as PTSD, Tinnitus, and anxiety in addition to the Major Depressive Disorder it is currently indicated for. "These are exciting times in medicine," Sammons says.
For more information about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS Therapy, and where to get help for depression, call us at TMS Solutions at 1-970-697-1020 or visit the Web site at www.tmssolutions.com.
To learn more about TMS Therapy and clinical trials, or search for other TMS studies, please visit www.tmssolutions.com .
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