Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

rTMS is a brain stimulation technique that targets the specific areas of the brain implicated in depersonalization disorder.

TMS administers a magnetic pulse, altering cortical excitability through the modulation of the superficial cortical neurons and the interconnected areas beneath the coil.

When these magnetic pulses are delivered repeatedly, this is known as repetitive TMS (rTMS). rTMS can lead to long-term changes in cortical functioning.

These changes vary depending on the frequency of the stimulation e.g. rTMS administered at a high frequency has excitatory effects, whereas rTMS delivered at low frequency has an inhibitory effect.

As a range of studies have implicated the Left TPJ and the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in depersonalization, so these are the areas in which the rTMS is usually administered to treat depersonalization.

Research for rTMS as a treatment for depersonalization has shown positive results


rTMS as a treatment for depersonalization

Jay, E. L., et al. (2014)

  • Patients who had either VLPFC or TPJ rTMS showed a significant reduction in depersonalization symptoms.
  • Additionally, right-sided rTMS to VLPFC significantly increased physiological arousal capacity supporting the model regarding the relevance of increased VLPFC activity to emotional numbing in depersonalization.

Jay, E. L., et al. (2016)

  • 20 sessions of rTMS treatment to right VLPFC significantly reduced symptoms by an average 44%.
  • Two patients could be classified as “full responders”, four as “partial” and one a non-responder.

Karris, B. C., et al (2017)

  • A case study of a patient with depersonalization and depression found that after the patient was treated with low frequency rTMS to the right DLPFC followed by high frequency rTMS to the left DLPFC, there was a significant reduction in his depersonalization symptoms.

Mantovani. A., et al (2011)

  • 12 patients with depersonalization were treated with rTMS for 3 weeks.
  • After 3 weeks of right TPJ rTMS, 6 of the 12 patients responded.
  • Five responders received 3 more weeks of right TPJ rTMS showing 68% depersonalization symptoms improvement.


Treatment for DPD

  • Medication-free treatment for depersonalization disorder
  • Proven results


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