Synchronised Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Effective for Major Depressive Disorder

NEW YORK -- June 24, 2015 -- Synchronised transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) therapy with the NEST device is effective for adult patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), according to a study published in the journal Brain Stimulation.

In the study, over 200 subjects were analysed across 17 leading academic and private psychiatric institutions in the United States. Enrolment included both treatment-naïve and treatment-resistant patients, as prior exposure to antidepressant medication was not a requirement for inclusion into the trial.

“The study found sTMS therapy to be significantly more effective than sham when administered as intended, supporting the hypothesis that low-field magnetic stimulation improves depressive symptoms,” said Andrew Leuchter, MD, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. “Additional analyses found subjects who failed to benefit from or tolerate prior antidepressant treatment in the current episode were most likely to demonstrate significant benefit from sTMS therapy compared with sham.”

When delivered accurately and consistently, antidepressant resistant/intolerant subjects treated with active sTMS therapy achieved clinical response at a rate of 34.2% compared with a rate of 8.3% among those treated with an inactive device.

There were no significant differences between active and sham treatment in the rate or severity of adverse events. There were no device-related serious adverse events.

“These promising results indicate that sTMS is a promising novel technology for the treatment of depression,” said co-author Mark S. George, MD, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. “This technology is revolutionary in 2 ways over the current FDA [US Food and Drug Administration]-approved forms of TMS. First, this device tunes the stimulation to the patient’s own brain rhythms. By stimulating at each patient’s individual resonant frequency, sTMS may be able to achieve therapeutic success using lower energy. Second, this device is safe, easy to use, and portable, which would allow use in a wide variety of treatment settings. sTMS may expand the options we have for treating serious depression.”

SOURCE: Elsevier
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