Never Too Late: Safety and Efficacy of Deep TMS for Late-Life Depression - BrainsWay

Never Too Late: Safety and Efficacy of Deep TMS for Late-Life Depression

Journal: Journal of Clinical Medicine 2024, 13, 816

Authors: Yiftach Roth, Faisal Munasifi, Steven A. Harvey, Geoffrey Grammer, Colleen A. Hanlon and Aron Tendler


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an effective and well-established treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Deep TMS utilizes specially designed H-Coils to stimulate the deep and broad cerebral regions associated with the reward system. The improved depth penetration of Deep TMS may be particularly important in late-life patients who often experience brain atrophy. 


The aim of this phase IV open-label study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Deep TMS in patients with late-life MDD.


Data were collected from 247 patients with MDD aged 60–91 at 16 sites who had received at least 20 Deep TMS sessions for MDD. The outcome measures included self-assessment questionnaires (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II)) and clinician-based scales (21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS21)).


Following 30 sessions of Deep TMS, there was a 79.4% response and 60.3% remission rate on the most rated scale. The outcomes on the PHQ-9 were similar (76.6% response and 54.7% remission rate). The highest remission and response rates were observed with the HDRS physician-rated scale after 30 sessions (89% response and a 78% remission rate). After 20 sessions, there was a 73% response and 73% remission rate on the HDRS. Consistent with prior studies, the median onset of response was 14 sessions (20 days). The median onset of remission was 15 sessions (23 days).


The treatment was well tolerated, with no reported serious adverse events. These high response and remission rates in patients with treatment-resistant late-life depression suggest that Deep TMS is a safe, well-tolerated and effective treatment for this expanded age range of older adults. 

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