Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the add-on treatment of patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is becoming more common. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of TMS on depression and accompanying anxiety symptoms among patients with TRD. Materials and methods: The current study was conducted with 38 patients diagnosed with TRD. The patients were randomly divided into two groups and received 20 sessions of high-frequency (10Hz) TMS and 20 sessions of sham TMS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a double-blind and cross-over fashion without a change in their pharmacotherapy. In the clinical evaluation, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) were carried out three times in total: before, crossover phase, and at the end of the treatment. Results: A statistically significant decrease was found in the HAM-D and HAM-A in the group who were actively stimulated in the cross-over phase of the study. While there was a significant decrease in the HAM-A in the group who received sham stimulation, the decrease in the HAM-D was not statistically significant. Group comparisons revealed a statistically significant decrease in HAM-D in the group who were actively stimulated compared to the group receiving sham stimulation. At the end of the study, 63% of 38 patients responded to treatment, 15% partially responded, and 42% reached remission. Conclusion: This randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled, cross-over study revealed that TMS is superior to sham-TMS, provides clinically significant improvement when implemented besides pharmacotherapy among patients with treatment-resistant depression, and is beneficial for accompanying anxiety symptoms.

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