OBJECTIVE: In this study we aimed to assess the long-term efficacy of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on depressive symptoms and cognitive performance in patients with drug-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).
METHODS: Fifteen drug-resistant depressed outpatients completed an acute trial with augmentative high-frequency rTMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and were compared with 15 drug-resistant MDD patients who underwent sham procedure. Depressive symptoms were evaluated with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale. The Frontal Assessment Battery and the Stroop Color-Word Test Interference (Stroop T) were used to probe executive functions. Outcome measures were obtained at baseline, 4 weeks after the rTMS, as well as 3 months and 6 months after the end of the stimulation protocol.
RESULTS: After the active rTMS, patients showed a significant decrease in the scores at the depression rating scales that lasted for 6 months. A transient improvement was also observed at the Stroop T, although it did not persist in time.
CONCLUSIONS: High-frequency rTMS over the left DLPFC may have long-term antidepressant effect in drug-resistant MDD. TMS is a valuable tool for the add-on treatment of mood disorders and for the design of customized stimulation protocols.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Cortical excitability
- drug-resistant major depression
- neural plasticity
- repetitive TMS
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health