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Prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as add on treatment in depression


A growing number of studies report antidepressant effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in patients with major depression. The hypothesis that high frequency (20 Hz) rTMS (HF-rTMS) may speed up and strengthen the therapeutic response to sertraline in MD was tested. Twenty eight patients who had not yet received medication for the present depressive episode (n=12) or had failed a single trial of an antidepressant medication (n=16) were started on sertraline and randomised to receive either real of sham HF-rTMS. HF-rTMS was applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal area in daily sessions (30 trains of 2 s, 20–40 s intertrain interval, at 90% motor threshold) on 10 consecutive working days. The results suggest that in this patient population, HF-rTMS does not add efficacy over the use of standard antidepressant medication.

  • major depression
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • sertraline
  • prefrontal area

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