A recent study suggests that Transcranial Magmentic Stimulation may provide long lasting benefits to people who have not responded well to antidepressants.
Researchers from several international medical centers (including Rush University Medical Center, Stanford University Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic) selected 301 people with major depression that had proven resistant to antidepressant therapy. While 155 of the participants received a six-week treatment of TMS, 146 received a sham procedure.
A total of 142 people from either group whose depression abated after the six-week period went on to the second phase of the study, a three-week transition during which they were tapered off TMS treatment while starting on an antidepressant for maintenance therapy. During the six months that followed this phase, participants could receive additional TMS treatment if they showed signs of relapse.
Only 10% of the people who had originally responded well to TMS experienced a relapse in the six-month follow-up. What’s more, 84% of the people who received additional TMS treatment achieved symptom improvement and mood stability during the follow-up period demonstrating that TMS is a “meaningful rescue intervention.” The most common side effects of TMS reported in the study included insomnia, headache, anxietyand other effects.
TMS provides a relatively safe effective treatment for depression.