Long-term maintenance therapy
for major depressive disorder with rTMS
O'Reardon JP, Blumner KH, Peshek AD, Pradilla RR, Pimiento PC.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Ste. 4005,
3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
J Clin Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;66(12):1524-8.
ABSTRACTOBJECTIVE: There is growing evidence to support the short-term antidepressant effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), but few published data pertain to the maintenance treatment of patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed major depressive disorder who have responded acutely to rTMS. We describe long-term maintenance therapy for major depressive disorder with rTMS. METHOD: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied in 10 adults over the left prefrontal cortex at 100% of motor threshold, most often at a frequency of 10 Hz for sessions consisting of 40 trains at 5 seconds per train (2000 pulses per session), for periods ranging from 6 months to 6 years. Session frequency averaged 1 to 2 per week. The study was conducted in the TMS lab of an academic medical center. RESULTS: Seven of the 10 subjects experienced either marked or moderate benefit, which was sustained without the addition of concomitant antidepressant medication in 3 cases. There were no serious adverse events reported by any participant. The seizure rate for the 1831 reported rTMS sessions was zero. CONCLUSIONS: These data, while open label, suggest that maintenance rTMS may be a safe and effective treatment modality in some patients with unipolar depression. Further research into the long-term safety and efficacy of rTMS is warranted.rTMS
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