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J Clin Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;65(10):1323-8.

A 3-month, follow-up, randomized, placebo-controlled study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in depression.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, St. Lucas Andreas Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. f.koerselman@slaz.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE:

There is evidence for an antidepressant effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), but little is known about posttreatment course. Therefore, we conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blind study in depressed patients in order to investigate the effect of rTMS on depression over 12 weeks after completion of the 2-week stimulation period.

METHOD:

55 patients with a moderate or severe DSM-IV major depressive episode were randomly assigned to rTMS or sham treatment. rTMS was given daily for 10 days over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with the following treatment parameters: 20 Hz, 20 trains of 2 seconds, 30 seconds between trains, and 80% motor threshold. The effect of rTMS on depression was rated repeatedly with the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) during the 2-week period of stimulation and the 12-week follow-up period conducted from 1997 to 2001.

RESULTS:

We found a modest, clinically nonrelevant decrease in HAM-D scores in both rTMS and sham patients over 2 weeks of treatment. However, over the subsequent 12-week follow-up, the rTMS group continued to improve significantly compared with the placebo group.

CONCLUSION:

Decrease of depressive symptoms may continue after the cessation of rTMS stimulation.

PMID:
15491234
DOI:
10.4088/jcp.v65n1005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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