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Brain Stimul. 2008 Jan;1(1):27-32. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2007.08.001. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

A study of the effectiveness of bilateral transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is increasingly being investigated as a potential treatment for a number of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Previous rTMS studies have targeted the left-side prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the treatment of negative symptoms, with inconsistent findings. Some imaging evidence suggests right-sided or bilateral PFC involvement in negative symptoms, areas yet to be investigated for rTMS treatment. The study therefore aimed to assess the efficacy of bilateral high-frequency rTMS in the treatment of negative symptoms.

METHODS:

A 2-arm double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted with 20 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and moderate-to-severe treatment-resistant negative symptoms. Participants received a 3-week course of high-frequency bilateral rTMS or sham. Twenty trains (5 seconds duration) of 10 Hz rTMS at 110% of the RMT were administered to each PFC daily, 5 days a week.

RESULTS:

No significant group or time differences in the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) scores or cognitive outcomes were evident. However, a trend for greater reduction in scores on the autistic preoccupation scale of the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale for the active group compared to the sham group was observed (P = .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

No substantial benefit of high-frequency bilateral rTMS was seen in the treatment of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Further research is required to explore whether rTMS may have benefits specific to particular cognitive or symptom domains.

PMID:
20633367
DOI:
10.1016/j.brs.2007.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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