TMS for Autism

TMS Therapy and Alternative Autism Treatments

According to statistics from CDC, nearly 1 in every 36 children in the United States has ASD, or autism spectrum disorder. Each of these children were born with a developmental disorder that affects the way they sense the world, which often makes it difficult for them to communicate properly or interact socially.

Though symptoms of ASD are manageable, the disorder itself usually cannot be treated. However, a recent neurological technology called TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, has raised a vital question: could TMS Therapy be used to treat ASD?

What is ASD?

ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects certain areas of the brain, and can change the way someone behaves, communicates, learns, and/or interacts. ASD is considered a spectrum because it can affect a person more or less severely.

People with severe autism may need constant assistance in their lives, but people with a milder version may be able to live a normal life without much external help. ASD can usually be diagnosed by a young age, but many people do not come in for a diagnosis until much later.

The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to get help and treat the disorder. Because ASD varies so much between individuals, there is a wide range of treatments. These can include speech or behavioral therapy, special education, or medications. However, there may be a new player on the field: TMS Therapy.

TMS and ASD

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a neurological technology that stimulates the brain in order to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and perhaps even ASD. Because it can directly affect specific areas of the brain, many people believe it has the potential to treat ASD.

Some studies have already shown TMS benefits for autism, such positive improvement in symptoms and visible changes in the brain before and after TMS. However, the major setback is that we just don’t have enough information. Because TMS is a relatively new technology, there are a limited number of tests that have been run.

The main use of TMS in relation to ASD has been as a research tool, with data on symptoms being collected as an aside. While TMS has worked with treating ASD in some cases, in others there have been no noticeable effects, positive or otherwise. Additionally, the long-term effects are still unknown, and could potentially be harmful.

Conclusion

Though TMS has the potential to be an advantageous tool in treating ASD, there is simply not enough known about it. In order to achieve this potential, more studies and clinical trials should be conducted, and more data should be gathered specifically about TMS as a treatment for ASD.

Until then, there are many other ways a person with ASD can treat their symptoms, such as certain types of therapies or different medications. For someone who doesn’t have ASD, the best way to help, other than becoming a medical researcher or a doctor, is to de-stigmatize the idea of someone having ASD or any other mental illnesses.

Even if nobody ever finds a perfect solution, people with ASD shouldn’t be treated any different for having a condition outside of their control. The world is at its best when it comes together to solve people’s problems, and treat everyone equally.

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