Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation add-on for the treatment of auditory hallucinations: adouble-blind study

Journal: Annals of General Psychiatry 11:13 (2012)

Authors: O Rosenberg, R Gersner, L Dinur-Klein, M Kotler, A Zangen, P Dannon

Background:

About 25% of schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations are refractory to pharmacotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy. This group of investigators conducted a deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pilot study in order to evaluate the potential clinical benefit of repeated left temporoparietal cortex stimulation in these patients and the results were encouraging.

Objective:

This sham-controlled study was conducted in order was to rule out a placebo effect explanation forthe previously demonstrated effect of deep TMSover the temporoparietal cortexon auditory hallucinations.

Methods:

A total of 18 schizophrenic patients with refractory auditory hallucinations were recruited, from Beer Yaakov MHC and other hospitals outpatient populations. Patients received 10 daily treatment sessions with low-frequency (1 Hz for 10 min) deep TMS applied over the left temporoparietal cortex, using the H1 coil at the intensity of 110% of the motor threshold. Procedure was either real or sham according to patient randomization.Patients were evaluated via the Auditory Hallucinations Rating Scale, Scale forthe Assessment of Positive Symptoms-Negative Symptoms, Clinical Global Impressions, and Quality of Life Questionnaire.

Results:

This preliminary study demonstrated a significant improvement in AHRS score (an average reduction of 31.7% ± 32.2%) and to a lesser extent improvement in SAPS results (an average reduction of 16.5% ± 20.3%).

Conclusions:

This studydemonstratedthe potential of deep TMS treatment over the temporoparietalcortex as an add-on treatment for chronic auditory hallucinations in schizophrenic patients. Larger samples in adouble-blind sham-controlleddesign are now being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of deep TMStreatment for auditory hallucinations.

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