I’ve read that brains do not develop completely if they encounter high levels of stress/neglect/abuse at a young age. Does treatment like TMS focus on these under developed regions and stimulate them? My friend experienced an emotionally abusive mother and has difficulty forming close relationships, I’m curious if a treatment like TMS would help reenergize parts of the brain affected by the early trauma. Thank you.
A. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatments are indicated for depression and, in some of the latest studies, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is no solid evidence that it is effective in the treatment of early trauma, but research is ongoing. You and/or your friend might consider researching whether or not TMS studies are available at any local universities. That might allow your friend the opportunity to participate in research that could be helpful to her, and also to others. It might also allow her to interact with clinicians who specialize in TMS treatments. They could advise her accordingly.
Among individuals who have undergone TMS, typically it is in conjunction with other types of more traditional treatments such as medication and counseling. Both are effective in treating early trauma and its impact upon relationships. Until more studies are available for TMS, your friend could try the aforementioned evidence-based treatments. She should choose a therapist who specializes in early childhood trauma. Good luck and thanks for your question.
Dr. Kristina Randle