Type to search

Magnetic Pulses as Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Magnetic Pulses as Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

A recent study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found potential in a treatment for cocaine addiction involving stimulating the brain with magnetic pulses. 


This somewhat new method, called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, targets the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that controls impulsive behavior—with magnetic pulses. Researchers analyzed thirty-two long-term users of cocaine; half of this group was treated with a range of medications, and the other half received “thirteen minutes of transcranial magnetic stimulation once a day for five days, and then once a week for three more weeks” (Ackerman, 2015). 


Researchers found that 69 percent of participants in the transcranial magnetic stimulation group passed drug tests for cocaine use, while only 19 percent in the medication group passed. The stimulation group also had lower cravings for cocaine and no side effects. 


While the study’s initial results seem promising, patients with major depression, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder were prohibiting from participating. 






Ackerman, M. (2015). How magnetic pulses could be breakthrough treatment for cocaine addiction. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/how-magnetic-pulses-could-be-breakthrough-treatment-cocaine-addiction