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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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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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

METHOD:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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

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