Department of Psychiatry, Mood Disorders Unit, Black Dog Institute and
Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, School of Psychiatry,
University of New South Wales, Randwick, Australia.
BACKGROUND: The efficacy and safety of bilateral prefrontal repetitive
transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treating resistant major depression
were examined in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. METHOD: Nineteen
medication-resistant depressed subjects were randomly assigned to 3 weeks of
active or sham rTMS. Effects on mood and neuropsychological function were
assessed. RESULTS: Both groups improved significantly in mood over the 3 weeks,
but there was no significant difference between active and sham treatments.
There were no significant neuropsychological effects. CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral
rTMS was not superior to sham in treating resistant depression in this pilot
study, but caused no neuropsychological impairment.