Effectiveness of a second deep TMS in depression: A brief report

Background:

Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is an emerging and promising treatment for major depression. In our study, we explored the effectiveness of a second antidepressant course of dTMS in major depression.

Objective:

Toevaluate whether a second course of dTMS would be effective.

Methods:

Eight depressive patients who relapsed after a previous successful deep TMS course expressed their wish to be treated again. Upon their request, they were recruited and treated with 20daily sessions of dTMS at 20 Hz using the Brainsway’s H1 coil. The Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS), Hamilton anxiety rating scale (HARS) and the Beck depression inventory (BDI) were used weekly to evaluate the response to treatment.

Results:

Similar to the results obtained in the first course of treatment, the second course of treatment (after relapse) induced significant reductions in HDRS, HARS and BDI scores, compared to the ratings measured prior to treatment. The magnitude of response in the second course was smaller relative to that obtained in the first course of treatment.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that depressive patients who previously responded well to deep TMS treatment are likely to respond again. However, the slight reduction in the magnitude of the response in the second treatment raises the question of whether tolerance or resistance to this treatment may eventually develop.

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