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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 Sep;116(3):165-73.

Has repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment for depression improved? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing the recent vs. the earlier rTMS studies.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



To investigate whether the recent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) studies on depression using new parameters of stimulation have shown improved clinical results.


We performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the rTMS studies on depression published in the past 12 months comparing these results with an earlier meta-analysis that analyzed the results of the initial rTMS studies on depression.


Using our inclusion criteria, we selected the meta-analysis of Martin [Br J Psychiatry (2003) Vol. 182, 480-491] that included 13 studies (324 patients) and five studies for the recent meta-analysis (274 patients). The pooled effect size (standardized mean difference between pretreatment vs. post-treatment) from the random effects model was -0.76 (95% confidence interval, CI, -1.01 to -0.51). This result was significantly larger than that of the earlier meta-analysis (-0.35, 95% CI -0.66 to -0.04).


Our findings suggest that recent rTMS clinical trials have shown larger antidepressant effects when compared with the earlier studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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