rTMS for adolescents: Safety and efficacy considerations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 04/2010; 177(3):280-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.03.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In light of both the FDA's clearance of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for adult major depressive disorder and concerns about safety and efficacy of existing antidepressant therapies for adolescent depression, there is increasing interest in rTMS as a novel treatment for adolescent depression. We reviewed English-language studies using rTMS in persons under the age of 18, yielding 6 published reports. Because rTMS is typically delivered at or above 1 Hz for psychiatric indications, our search was confined to these frequencies. Also included are studies involving rTMS above 1 Hz for non-psychiatric indications. Articles were retrieved from the MEDLINE database. There were 19 reported subjects under age 18 who have been administered rTMS at a frequency above 1 Hz: 10 for major depression, 5 for spastic cerebral palsy and 4 for epilepsia partialis continua. We found that most subjects responded favorably to rTMS and no adverse events have been reported. However data are insufficient for drawing firm conclusions about safety and efficacy. Further studies of rTMS as a treatment for adolescent depression are warranted.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) has shown efficacy in adult patients with treatment-resistant depression with limited impairment in memory. To date, the use of MST in adolescent depression has not been reported. Here we describe the first successful use of MST in the treatment of an adolescent patient with refractory bipolar depression. This patient received MST in an ongoing open-label study for treatment-resistant major depression. Treatments employed a twin-coil MST apparatus, with the center of each coil placed over the frontal cortex (ie, each coil centered over F3 and F4). MST was applied at 100 Hz and 100% machine output at progressively increasing train durations. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and cognitive function was assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. This adolescent patient achieved full remission of clinical symptoms after an acute course of 18 MST treatments and had no apparent cognitive decline, other than some autobiographical memory impairment that may or may not be related to the MST treatment. This case report suggests that MST may be a safe and well tolerated intervention for adolescents with treatment-resistant bipolar depression. Pilot studies to further evaluate the effectiveness and safety of MST in adolescents warrant consideration.
    Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2014; 10:2049-55. DOI:10.2147/NDT.S71056 · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • From Symptom to Synapse: A Neurocognitive Perspective on Clinical Psychology, 1 edited by J. Mohlman; T. Deckersbach; & A. Weissman, 01/2015: chapter 8: pages 211-246; Routledge.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial current stimulation (tCS) have the potential to mitigate a variety of symptoms associated with neurological and psychiatric conditions, including stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, depression, and Tourette syndrome. While the safety of these modalities has been established in adults, there is a paucity of research assessing the safety of NIBS among children. To examine the existing literature regarding the safety of NIBS techniques in children and adolescents with neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. An electronic search was performed on online databases for studies using NIBS in individuals less than 18 years of age. Non-English publications, diagnostic studies, electroconvulsive therapy, single/dual pulse TMS studies, and reviews were excluded. Adverse events reported in the studies were carefully examined and synthesized to understand the safety and tolerability of NIBS among children and adolescents. The data from 48 studies involving more than 513 children/adolescents (2.5-17.8 years of age) indicate that the side effects of NIBS were, in general, mild and transient [TMS: headache (11.5%), scalp discomfort (2.5%), twitching (1.2%), mood changes (1.2%), fatigue (0.9%), tinnitus (0.6%); tCS: tingling (11.5%), itching (5.8%), redness (4.7%), scalp discomfort (3.1%)] with relatively few serious adverse events. Our findings indicate that both repetitive TMS and tCS are safe modalities in children and adolescents with various neurological conditions, especially when safety guidelines are followed. The incidence of adverse events appears to be similar to that observed in adults; however, further studies with longer treatment and follow-up periods are needed to better understand the benefits and tolerance of long-term use of NIBS in children. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Brain Stimulation 10/2014; 8(1). DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2014.10.012 · 5.43 Impact Factor