TMS in the study and treatment of anxiety disorders

Benjamin Greenberg and Sarah H. Lisanby

in Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780198568926
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744013 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 TMS in the study and treatment of anxiety disorders

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  • Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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A few studies of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an anxiety disorder treatment have been reported. In treatment studies, the focal application of TMS in the treatment of anxiety disorders has been guided by the present understanding of the neurocircuitry underlying these disorders. This article reviews the current state of the literature on the uses of TMS in the study and treatment of anxiety disorders, and discusses the implications for understanding their patho-etiology. Investigation of the possible therapeutic effects of repetitive TMS in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or any anxiety disorder remains at a preliminary stage. There have been promising initial observations in OCD, which require systematic testing in controlled studies. As far as PTSD is concerned, the available data suggest that additional TMS work is required. The observations need to be replicated in controlled settings to determine whether this approach will have value in treating anxiety disorders.

Keywords: anxiety disorder; treatment; neurocircuitry; obsessive-compulsive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; therapeutic effects

Article.  7036 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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