Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for psychiatric disorders: A comprehensive review.

Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
European Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.29). 05/2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2012.02.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technique of neuromodulation and neurostimulation based on the principle of electromagnetic induction of an electric field in the brain. The coil (H-coil) used in deep TMS is able to modulate cortical excitability up to a maximum depth of 6cm and is therefore able not only to modulate the activity of the cerebral cortex but also the activity of deeper neural circuits. Deep TMS is largely used for the treatment of drug-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) and is being tested to treat a very wide range of neurological, psychiatric and medical conditions. The aim of this review is to illustrate the biophysical principles of deep TMS, to explain the pathophysiological basis for its utilization in each psychiatric disorder (major depression, autism, bipolar depression, auditory hallucinations, negative symptoms of schizophrenia), to summarize the results presented thus far in the international scientific literature regarding the use of deep TMS in psychiatry, its side effects and its effects on cognitive functions.

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    ABSTRACT: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive method of brain stimulation used to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, but is still in the early stages of study as addiction treatment. We identified 19 human studies using repetitive TMS (rTMS) to manipulate drug craving or use, which exposed a total of 316 adults to active rTMS. Nine studies involved tobacco, six alcohol, three cocaine, and one methamphetamine. The majority of studies targeted high-frequency (5–20 Hz; expected to stimulate neuronal activity) rTMS pulses to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Only five studies were controlled clinical trials: two of four nicotine trials found decreased cigarette smoking; the cocaine trial found decreased cocaine use. Many aspects of optimal treatment remain unknown, including rTMS parameters, duration of treatment, relationship to cue-induced craving, and concomitant treatment. The mechanisms of rTMS potential therapeutic action in treating addictions are poorly understood, but may involve increased dopamine and glutamate function in corticomesolimbic brain circuits and modulation of neural activity in brain circuits that mediate cognitive processes relevant to addiction, such as response inhibition, selective attention, and reactivity to drug-associated cues. rTMS treatment of addiction must be considered experimental at this time, but appears to have a promising future.
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May 22, 2014