High-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Decreases Cigarette Smoking
J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64:951-953
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: The mesolimbic dopaminergic
reward system seems to play a crucial role in reinforcing effects
of nicotine. Recently, acute high-frequency repetitive
transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of frontal brain regions
has been shown to efficiently modulate the mesostriatal and
mesolimbic dopaminergic system in both animals and humans. For
this reason, we investigated whether high-frequency rTMS would be
able to influence nicotine-related behavior by studying rTMS
effects on craving and cigarette smoking.
Method: Fourteen treatment-seeking
smokers were included in a double-blind crossover trial,
conducted in 2002, comparing single days of active versus sham
stimulation. Outcome measures were rTMS effects on number of
cigarettes smoked during an ad libitum smoking period and effects
on craving after a period of acute abstinence.
Results: High-frequency (20-Hz) rTMS of left
dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduced cigarette smoking
significantly (p < .01) in an active stimulation compared with
sham stimulation. Levels of craving did not change significantly.
Conclusion: High-frequency rTMS may be useful
for treatment in smoking cessation.