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A happiness magnet? Reviewing the evidence for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in major depressive disorder
Objectives: First, to conduct a historical review of the evidence for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for major depressive disorder and determine a clinical algorithm. Second, to identify opportunities for research.
Methods: Literature searches were conducted of the MEDLINE database, UpToDate and the Australian National University Library SuperSearch from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2019. The search terms used were ‘transcranial magnetic stimulation’, ‘major depressive disorder’ and ‘depression’.
Results: There were 24 meta-analyses identified, demonstrating a clear clinical effect. Left high-frequency rTMS had the most evidence. Ideal clinical parameters and study design were explored.
Conclusion: Use of rTMS for some patients with depression is justified. Open research questions include the comparative efficacy of right low-frequency and bilateral stimulation, the role of rTMS in medication-naïve patients, and maintenance of effect.
Publication titleAustralasian Psychiatry
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2020 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists