Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is as effective as electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of nondelusional major depressive disorder: an open study.

Psychiatry Division, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 02/2000; 47(4):314-24. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(99)00254-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a new method for the stimulation of the central nervous system, is being proposed as a potential new treatment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). We tested the hypothesis that rTMS would be as effective as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in patients with MDD.
Forty patients with MDD referred for ECT were randomly assigned to either ECT or rTMS. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was performed at 90% power of the motor threshold. The stimulation frequency was 10 Hz for either 2 sec (first eight patients) or 6 sec (final 12 patients) for 20 trains. Patients were treated for up to 20 treatment days. Electroconvulsive therapy was performed according to standard protocols.
Overall patients responded best to ECT (chi(2) = 3.8, p <.05). Patients with MDD and psychosis responded significantly better to ECT (chi(2) = 9.2, p <. 01), whereas MDD patients without psychosis responded similarly to both treatments (chi(2) = 0.0, ns). The analysis of variance with repeated measures of clinical variables for the whole sample revealed significant treatment effects for both groups; however, interaction between group and treatment was seen only for the Global Assessment of Function and the Sleep assessment. When the psychosis-nonpsychosis grouping was considered, patients with psychosis responded dramatically better to ECT in all assessments, whereas those without psychosis responded similarly to both treatments.
Overall ECT was a more potent treatment for patients with MDD, this being particularly evident in patients with MDD and psychosis; however, in patients with MDD without psychosis the effects of rTMS were similar to those of ECT. The results we report are encouraging and support an important role for rTMS in the treatment of severe MDD; however, additional blinded studies are needed to precisely define this role.


Available from: Shaul Schreiber, Nov 01, 2014
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can induce significant antidepressant effects and, for some patients, might be an alternative to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The results of studies comparing the efficacy of rTMS and ECT are mixed and, therefore, comparison of these two therapies needs to be further explored. Forty-two patients aged between 18 and 65 yr, referred to ECT due to unipolar non-psychotic depression refractoriness entered the trial. They were randomly assigned to receive either rTMS or ECT. Depressive symptom changes were blindly measured by Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Visual Analogue Scale and Clinical Global Impression at baseline, after 2 wk and after 4 wk of treatment. There was no difference in the antidepressant efficacy of ECT and rTMS. Response rates were relatively low in both groups (40% and 50% respectively), with no significant difference between them (p=0.55). Remission rates were also low for both groups (20% and 10% respectively), also with no significant difference (p=0.631). There was no significant difference in the neuropsychological test performance after either one of these therapies. Both treatments were associated with a degree of improvement in refractory depression and therefore add to the literature that rTMS can be an effective option to ECT as it is a less costly treatment and is not associated with anaesthetic and other ECT risks.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2007; 9(6):667-76. DOI:10.1017/S1461145706007127 · 5.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although previous clinical trials have suggested that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has a significant antidepressant effect, the results of these trials are heterogeneous. We hypothesized that individual patients' characteristics might contribute to such heterogeneity. Our aim was to identify predictors of antidepressant response to rTMS. We pooled data from six separate clinical trials conducted independently, which evaluated the effects of rapid rTMS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with major depression. We investigated 195 patients with regard to demographic, depression and treatment characteristics, psychiatric and drug history. Results showed that age and treatment refractoriness were significant negative predictors of depression improvement when adjusting these variables to other significant predictors and confounders. These findings were not confounded by methodological differences from the six studies, as the results were adjusted for the study site. In conclusion TMS antidepressant therapy in younger and less treatment-resistant patients is associated with better outcome.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2007; 9(6):641-54. DOI:10.1017/S1461145705006280 · 5.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: rTMS is increasingly being used for stimulation to non-motor areas, but available safety guidelines are derived from experience with motor cortex rTMS. We reviewed the literature and our own data to assess the safety of rTMS to non-motor areas. We reviewed for adverse effects all articles published from January 1998 to December 2003 that applied rTMS to non-motor areas, and analyzed data from our own studies from January 1997 to December 2003. Adverse effects were infrequent and generally mild. Headache was the most common, occurring in 23% of the subjects and more frequent with frontal rTMS. More serious adverse effects were rare and consisted of two seizures and four instances of psychotic symptoms induced by rTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with depression. Overall, as currently applied rTMS to non-motor areas appears to be safe with few, generally mild adverse effects. In future studies, we recommend systematic reporting of adverse effects and careful documentation of machine type, coils used, and actual intensity as a function of maximum stimulator output. Phosphene threshold might be used to index stimulation intensity when rTMS is applied to the visual cortex, and research should be directed to identifying other indexes of intensity for TMS to other non-motor areas. rTMS under the present guidelines is safe, with minimal adverse effects, when applied to non-motor areas.
    Clinical Neurophysiology 03/2006; 117(2):455-71. DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2005.10.014 · 2.98 Impact Factor