TMS for Asperger’s is becoming a promising new treatment option to help individuals everywhere. Asperger syndrome, also known as Asperger’s, used to be a diagnosis outside the autism spectrum. However, in 2013 it became part of the autism spectrum disorder continuum. Typically, those with Asperger syndrome have stronger verbal language skills and intellectual ability than those who are diagnosed with the other types of autism.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimates that autism spectrum disorders have a prevalence of about one in eighty-eight children within the United States. Because these numbers are drastically higher than children affected by diabetes, aids, cancer, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Down syndrome combined, treatment for autism spectrum disorders remains a priority within the medical community.
More recently, researchers have begun researching the use of TMS for Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder treatment. TMS therapy is a promising treatment for Asperger syndrome, and it is currently being researched further to develop a better understanding of how TMS therapy can improve symptoms in Asperger’s patients.1
There are some signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders in nearly every developmental stage. In infancy, the child may have less eye contact, fewer responses to their names, and indifference to their caregivers. Other children may develop normally for a few months and then suddenly become withdrawn, aggressive, or lose language skills that they have already acquired. All these symptoms are generally seen by the age of two.
Those who are on the autism spectrum disorder likely participate in patterns of behavior. For example, children may participate in repetitive movements such as rocking or flapping their hands, perform inflexible rituals, have problems with coordination, become fascinated with details of an object, be sensitive to light, sounds, or touch and refusing to make-believe for imaginative play.
Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome or those who are on the autism spectrum disorder continuum may have a difficult time understanding or expressing emotions. They may simply be unaware that individuals are feeling emotions and may act inappropriately in emotional situations.
On some occasions, individuals with severe cases on the autism spectrum disorder may participate in self–injury or self-harm behaviors these are typically behavioral patterns that are repetitive movements, and it may be difficult for them to control these impulses.
Those with Asperger syndrome will have problems with social interaction and communication skills. They may have difficulty responding to their name, may not respond well to physical affection, have poor eye contact, lack facial expressions come on won’t speak or have delayed speech, cannot start conversations, and may not appear to understand simple questions or directions.
Positive symptoms are symptoms that can be considered beneficial to the individual. For example, those who have Asperger’s often can focus their attention well and are typically good at problem–solving skills. They also may have excellent attention to detail because of their ability to focus on the components of an object.
There is no single cause of Asperger’s syndrome. Because the disorder itself is so complex, there are likely many causes that interact with each other to impact the severity of the condition. However, genetic and environmental factors both likely play a role in developing an autism spectrum disorder.
Several therapies and services can be used for managing treatment for Asperger’s syndrome. With the use of these services and therapies, those who are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome can function independently and learn to cope with the challenges of daily life.
As with any medical illness or mental illness, education regarding the condition is incredibly important. Not only is it important for the individual to understand their condition, but the family members and friends of the individual with Asperger’s should become educated on the condition and work to support their loved one.
Cognitive–behavioral therapy can help the individual with Asperger’s syndrome to address any anxiety and personal challenges that they encounter in association with their condition.
The use of speech therapy can help those with Asperger’s syndrome manage voice control and conversation skills.
Medication can help manage any sentence associated with anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as this is typically a dual diagnosis.3
Alternative treatment options, such as art and music therapy, can help address certain cognitive, social, and emotional needs of the individual with Asperger’s. Additionally, herbal remedies, massage therapy, acupuncture, and animal therapy, neurofeedback therapy have also been used as potential treatment options. However, not as much research supports these treatment options.
The electroencephalogram (EEG) evaluation will be used to help evaluate the level of electrical activity in the person’s brain and help decide if the TMS treatment is the correct course of treatment for the individual. It will show the level of electrical stimulation in the brain and help to guide the course of treatment.
Magnetic pulses are sent into the brain to help stimulate certain areas as the individuals undergoing TMS for Asperger’s. This treatment for Asperger’s syndrome will likely take place over a series of doctor appointments and is done over weeks.
TMS therapy is typically done in a doctor’s office or a medical clinic. The individual who undergoes TMS therapy will attend the series of TMS therapy sessions that will help to stimulate areas of the brain and reduce symptoms. The first TMS therapy session is a sixty-minute-long appointment wherein the doctor will place magnets on the individual’s head and help decide which dose of magnetic stimulation is correct.
It is not necessarily uncomfortable, but you may feel a tapping sensation on your forehead, and when the correct neurostimulation dose has been found, you may notice that your hands and fingers will twitch. It is completely normal, and it simply means that the system has correctly mapped a brain.
TMS therapy typically lasts for about four to six weeks. Within those weeks, the individual will attend a TMS therapy session each day for five days each week. While it does seem to be a rather aggressive treatment style, the individual likely will experience a decrease in symptoms in a matter of weeks.
When preparing for your first TMS therapy appointment, you can expect to undergo a physical exam that will consist of a variety of lab tests. You will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation to discuss any mental health symptoms and established goals of the therapy period once these initial steps have been completed, the doctor will decide whether TMS therapy is right for you.
TMS treatment for Asperger’s syndrome is administered by a medical doctor who oversees the TMS treatment. This doctor will work for the individual who is suffering from Asperger syndrome to find the right neurostimulation dosage to produce brain stimulation.
There are many benefits to using TMS for Asperger’s. TMS therapy is a non–invasive therapy that can help improve symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. Some of the benefits of TMS for Asperger’s include:6