TMS and Panic Disorders

Panic disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders. The patients are generally resistant to drugs and psychotherapy, which can turn the disorder in a chronic and preventive manner. Thus, new methods have been researched for the treatment of panic disorder. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) having a therapeutic effect on the pathological neuronal activity in the brain is one of them.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) eliminates the neuronal polarization in the area of application, which is generally prefrontal cortex, through magnetic pulses and prevents brain activities from functioning abnormally. Therefore, the mood changes, and an antidepressant effect is observed. In this article, some of the studies carried out on panic disorders are summarized. In one study, it was reported that there was a visible improvement lasting for 4 weeks, when TMS was implemented on the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. When TMS is implemented at a low frequency, it was seen that it decreased the density of the symptoms of the disorder by lowering the metabolism in the area of application.

In a similar study, it was reported that TMS reduced anxiety, but that its anxiolytic effects were short-lived. In another study, TMS was administered on the left prefrontal cortex at high frequencies, which led to an alleviation in the panic-related dysfunction, in a group of patients having the symptoms of depression in addition to panic disorder.

Many studies were carried out concerning the implementation of TMS in panic disorder, but in all studies, it was reported that more and more implementations were needed. The reason for this fact might be the different neurophysiological abnormalities shown by panic disorder. There are still various researches being carried out regarding the frequency, density and area of application of TMS.