No evidence for TMS
What NICE published this week was the recommendation that at this time there is insufficient evidence to justify the use of TMS in the treatment of OCD and that it should only be considered for use in appropriate research settings. This was the full text from NICE’s recommendation:
Evidence on the safety of transcranial magnetic stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder raises no major safety concerns. However, evidence on its efficacy is inadequate in quantity and quality. Therefore, this procedure should only be used in the context of research.
Research should ideally be in the form of pre-registered, adequately powered, randomised controlled trials. It should report details of patient selection, including the use of concurrent therapies, type, duration and frequency of stimulation, and the intended target in the brain. Outcomes should include improvement in symptoms, quality of life and duration of effect.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care across the NHS. The interventional procedures guidance looks at procedures used for diagnosis or treatment. It considers if they are safe and work well enough for wider use in the NHS.
OCD-UK welcome NICE’s interventional guidance placing emphasis on both the lack of and the poor quality of existing research data around the use of TMS for OCD. However, OCD-UK remain open to new research and will support ongoing safe and clinically appropriate clinical trials into the use of TMS for the treatment of OCD.