TMS and Parkinson’s Disease 

We offer TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) as an FDA-approved treatment for MDD (major  depressive disorder), but studies are underway all the time to determine what else could be done with  TMS to help patients with a multitude of disorders. Parkinson’s disease is one of these disorders being  studied.  

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. This means that it includes cell death in the brain  and/or spinal cord. Over time, this leads to problems with physical and mental function that manifest in  many different ways. Symptoms develop gradually, which can cause delayed diagnosis. One cannot  predict who will develop Parkinson’s and who will not, but it is more common in middle-aged and senior  adults, male-bodied people, and people who have other sufferers of Parkinson’s disease in their family.  Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include, but are not limited to: 

Chronic pain 

Gastrointestinal upset 

Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing 

Sleep disturbances 


Trouble with balance  

Confusion and unclear thoughts 



Depression and anxiety can develop due to the neurodegenerative nature of Parkinson’s, the stress of  living with the disease, and often both. Parkinson’s has a marked negative effect on neurons that  produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects our ability to feel pleasure. This doesn’t mean  only physical pleasure, but also the ability to laugh with friends and appreciate cute animals.  

Studies show good results for TMS as a method for treating motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease  comorbid with depression. We’ve spoken about how neurotransmitters have a multitude of influences,  from motor function to reaction time. Improvement in motor function would do much to improve a  patient’s quality of life and empower them to continue their chosen pursuits. Less stress improves one’s  outlook in general.  

TMS is being used in studies to test its effects as well as for other studies on Parkinson’s disease. These  studies include TMS as a method to test motor cortex excitability, intracortical facilitation, motor  threshold, and more. Medical scientists are speculating on how TMS could be used on the motor cortex  as a method of neuromodulation to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s. Continued study is needed, but we  have high hopes that we may be able to help more patients with Parkinson’s disease in this way.  

Rochester Holistic Psychiatry is dedicated to serving each patient who calls on us for care. To ask us any  questions and make appointments, contact us on our website or call (585) 442-6960.