Send to

Choose Destination
Psychiatry Res. 2002 Dec 30;113(3):245-54.

Lack of a therapeutic effect of a 2-week sub-threshold transcranial magnetic stimulation course for treatment-resistant depression.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Stimulation parameters seem to strongly influence the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the management of treatment-resistant depressed patients. The most effective and safest parameters are yet to be defined. Moreover, systematic follow-up data available to document the duration of the therapeutic effects remain sparse. Twenty-one treatment-resistant depressed patients were randomized to either active rTMS (N=12) or to sham (N=9) treatment in a double-blind design. Patients were kept on their medications. Sub-motor-threshold (MT) stimulation (80% MT) was delivered for 10 consecutive work days (20 Hz, 2-s trains, 20 trains). Subjects meeting pre-set criteria for responding were entered into a follow-up phase for up to 5 months. Utilizing the above stimulation parameters, we found no significant difference between groups. Six patients in the active group and one subject in the sham group met criteria for the follow-up phase. The period of time before subjects met criteria for relapse was highly variable ranging from 2 to 20 weeks. Sub-threshold rTMS stimulation for 2 weeks is not significantly superior to sham treatment for treatment-resistant depressed patients. The duration of the therapeutic effects of rTMS delivered to the left prefrontal cortex using the above-described parameters is highly variable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center