No Deterioration of Cognitive Performance in an Aggressive Unilateral and Bilateral Antidepressant rTMS Add-On Trial
J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(6):772-782
© Copyright 2017 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Purchase This PDF for $40.00
If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
(You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP online-only ($86) or print + online ($156 individual).
With your subscription, receive a free PDF collection of the NCDEU Festschrift articles. Hurry! This offer ends December 31, 2011.
If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
Click here to login.
Did you forget your password?
Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send email
Background: Cognitive functions were assessed before and following a course of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in patients with depression participating in a sham-controlled, randomized trial of rTMS as adjunct to antidepressant treatment.
Method: Forty-one medicated inpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of a depressive episode were consecutively randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups comparing 2 active rTMS conditions with sham stimulation. The rTMS was applied either at high frequency over the left dorsolateral-prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (10 sessions x 10 trains x 10 seconds 20 Hz at 100% motor threshold [MT], 90-second intertrain interval) or in a combined high- and low-frequency manner to the left and right DLPFC, respectively (10 sessions x 1 train x 10 minutes at 120% MT). Thirty-eight patients completed a neuropsychological test battery at baseline and following day 14. The cognitive assessment focused on motor skills, attention, executive functions, learning, and memory. Data were collected from November 1999 to August 2002.
Results: Active treatment groups did not differ with respect to assessed cognitive measures and thus were pooled. A comparison of short-term changes (baseline-day 14) in neuropsychological performance revealed a more favorable time course of the actively treated patients for encoding in the verbal memory test compared with the sham-stimulated patients.
Conclusions: Unilateral rTMS as well as bilateral combined rTMS revealed no detrimental effects on cognition, as compared with the sham group. Moreover, neither the add-on design nor the used aggressive parameters had a negative impact on cognitive measures in comparison with sham. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation might have mild beneficial cognitive effects partly independent of its antidepressant efficacy.