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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;40(9):764-8.

Naturalistic study of the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depressive relapse.

Author information

1
Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. paul.fitzgerald@med.monash.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the treatment of depression has been assessed in a number of acute treatment trials during the last 10 years. Little is known about the long-term impact of the treatment on the disorder and its effectiveness when applied for repeated relapses of depression over time.

METHOD:

Nineteen patients who had previously responded to rTMS in clinical trials received treatment with rTMS for a total of 30 episodes of depressive relapse.

RESULTS:

Approximately 10 months elapsed between treatment episodes. The majority of patients achieved a significant improvement in each treatment course with significant improvements achieved in patients treated with both low-frequency right-sided rTMS and high-frequency left-sided rTMS.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study suggests that rTMS may have value in the treatment of episodes of depressive relapse with little reduction in efficacy over time.

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