Veterans with PTSD treated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents a significant health concern for millions of Veterans and their families and friends. The number of U.S. Veterans diagnosed with PTSD varies by service era.

As part of its mission to promote new treatment options for Veterans, the VA Center for Compassionate Care Innovation (CCI) supported the expanded use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment at the Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island. As seen pictured above Dr. Noah Philip, Director of Psychiatric Neuromodulation at Providence VA, treats a patient using TMS therapy.

TMS treatments are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat depression. An electromagnet, essentially a wire wrapped around a solid coil, is charged with electricity and then placed over specific points on the skull.  This creates a very powerful magnetic field that can positively affect brain cells. While TMS is typically used to treat depression, there is growing evidence that it can help Veterans with PTSD.

Noninvasive, no surgery or sedation

A major advantage of TMS therapy is that it is a noninvasive procedure and it does not involve surgery or sedation of any kind. Noah Philip, M.D., director of psychiatric neuromodulation at the Providence VA Medical Center, has been involved with the TMS treatments since they were first offered. He says that with the help of CCI, they were able to purchase a critical new component for the stimulator last year which allows them to reduce the time needed for treatments and gives them the ability to see