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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2009;10(4 Pt 2):673-6. doi: 10.1080/15622970701806192.

Augmentative transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with brain navigation in drug-resistant rapid cycling bipolar depression: a case report of acute and maintenance efficacy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Milan, Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122, Milano, Italy.


The efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been poorly investigated in the acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar depression. The present case supports the efficacy of low-frequency repetitive TMS (rTMS) of the right dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (RDLPFC) combined to brain navigation in a drug-resistant, bipolar depressed subject with rapid cycling. While continuing the pharmacological treatment at stable doses, the patient was stimulated for 3 weeks at 1 Hz, 110% of motor threshold, 300 stimuli/day showing a significant improvement on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS(21)), the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Clinical Global Impression, improvement scale (CGI-I) total scores. On completion of the 3-week rTMS, the patient was treated with periodic maintenance sessions of rTMS at the same parameters of acute phase for an additional 6 months, at the end of which the therapeutic gains were maintained according to rating scales scores. Larger controlled trials assessing the acute and maintenance efficacy of rTMS in bipolar depression are needed.

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