Should We Expand the Toolbox of Psychiatric Treatment Methods to Include Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)? A Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of rTMS in Psychiatric Disorders
J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(7):873-884
© Copyright 2016 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
Objective: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a safe treatment method with few side effects. However, efficacy for various psychiatric disorders is currently not clear.
Data sources: A literature search was performed from 1966 through October 2008 using PubMed, Ovid Medline, Embase Psychiatry, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, and PsycINFO. The following search terms were used: transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS, repetitive TMS, psychiatry, mental disorder, psychiatric disorder, anxiety disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, catatonia, mania, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, bulimia nervosa, and addiction.
Study selection: Data were obtained from randomized, sham-controlled studies of rTMS treatment for depression (34 studies), auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH, 7 studies), negative symptoms in schizophrenia (7 studies), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD, 3 studies). Studies of rTMS versus electroconvulsive treatment (ECT, 6 studies) for depression were meta-analyzed.
Data extraction: Standardized mean effect sizes of rTMS versus sham were computed based on pretreatment-posttreatment comparisons.
Data synthesis: The mean weighted effect size of rTMS versus sham for depression was 0.55 (P < .001). Monotherapy with rTMS was more effective than rTMS as adjunctive to antidepressant medication. ECT was superior to rTMS in the treatment of depression (mean weighted effect size −0.47, P = .004). In the treatment of AVH, rTMS was superior to sham treatment, with a mean weighted effect size of 0.54 (P < .001). The mean weighted effect size for rTMS versus sham in the treatment of negative symptoms in schizophrenia was 0.39 (P = .11) and for OCD, 0.15 (P = .52). Side effects were mild, yet more prevalent with high-frequency rTMS at frontal locations.
Conclusions: It is time to provide rTMS as a clinical treatment method for depression, for auditory verbal hallucinations, and possibly for negative symptoms. We do not recommend rTMS for the treatment of OCD.
J Clin Psychiatry 2010;71(7):873–884
Submitted: November 13, 2008; accepted February 2, 2009.
Online ahead of print: March 9, 2010 (doi:10.4088/JCP.08m04872gre).
Corresponding author: Christina W. Slotema, MD, Lijnbaan 4, 2512 VA, The Hague, the Netherlands (firstname.lastname@example.org).