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Posted by River1924 on February 8, 2006, at 0:30:04

I'm not sure if rTMS is available but this might help someone.

Magnetic Stimulation Hastens Response to Antidepressants

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 27 - Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can speed the response to antidepressant agents in patients with major depressive disorder, Italian researchers report.

Previous studies looking at rTMS have largely focused on its use for drug-resistant and severe depression and few studies have looked the procedure as an adjunct to drug therapy in patients without resistant disease.

According to senior author Dr. Raffaella Zanardi and colleagues, the present study marks the first time that rTMS has been evaluated as a way to hasten the antidepressant response in a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled trial.

The 5-week study involved 99 inpatients who were randomized to receive sertraline, venlafaxine, or escitalopram combined with 2 weeks of either real or sham rTMS, note the authors, from Vita-Salute University in Milan. With the real intervention, 15-Hz rTMS was applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

The investigators' findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry for December.

Patients treated with the real rTMS experienced a faster drop in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) than did patients given the sham treatment (p = 0.0029). The rTMS-treated patients showed a significantly greater drop in the HAM-D score at each week of the study, except the last.

Also, rTMS appeared to be equally effective in hastening the response to the three antidepressant agents tested.

"Many of our patients achieved a fast response and were remitters at the end of the trial," the authors comment. "However, it is reasonable to hypothesize that a longer period of rTMS treatment for those who did not respond may have yielded an even higher response rate."

J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66:1569-1575.




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