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Psychiatry Res. 2010 May 30;177(3):280-5. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 Apr 8.

rTMS for adolescents: Safety and efficacy considerations.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


In light of both the FDA's clearance of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for adult major depressive disorder and concerns about safety and efficacy of existing antidepressant therapies for adolescent depression, there is increasing interest in rTMS as a novel treatment for adolescent depression. We reviewed English-language studies using rTMS in persons under the age of 18, yielding 6 published reports. Because rTMS is typically delivered at or above 1 Hz for psychiatric indications, our search was confined to these frequencies. Also included are studies involving rTMS above 1 Hz for non-psychiatric indications. Articles were retrieved from the MEDLINE database. There were 19 reported subjects under age 18 who have been administered rTMS at a frequency above 1 Hz: 10 for major depression, 5 for spastic cerebral palsy and 4 for epilepsia partialis continua. We found that most subjects responded favorably to rTMS and no adverse events have been reported. However data are insufficient for drawing firm conclusions about safety and efficacy. Further studies of rTMS as a treatment for adolescent depression are warranted.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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