Consensus Recommendations for the Clinical Application of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in the Treatment of Depression.

J Clin Psychiatry. 2017 May 23. pii: 16cs10905. doi: 10.4088/JCP.16cs10905. [Epub ahead McClintock SM1,2,3, Reti IM4, Carpenter LL5, McDonald WM6, Dubin M7, Taylor SF8, Cook IA9, O’Reardon J10, Husain MM2,3, Wall C11, Krystal AD3,12, Sampson SM13, Morales O14, Nelson BG15, Latoussakis V7, George MS16,17, Lisanby SH3; National Network of Depression Centers rTMS Task Group; American Psychiatric Association Council on Research Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments.



To provide expert recommendations for the safe and effective application of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).


Participants included a group of 17 expert clinicians and researchers with expertise in the clinical application of rTMS, representing both the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) rTMS Task Group and the American Psychiatric Association Council on Research (APA CoR) Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments.


The consensus statement is based on a review of extensive literature from 2 databases (OvidSP MEDLINE and PsycINFO) searched from 1990 through 2016. The search terms included variants of major depressive disorder and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The results were limited to articles written in English that focused on adult populations. Of the approximately 1,500 retrieved studies, a total of 118 publications were included in the consensus statement and were supplemented with expert opinion to achieve consensus recommendations on key issues surrounding the administration of rTMS for MDD in clinical practice settings.


Multiple randomized controlled trials and published literature have supported the safety and efficacy of rTMS antidepressant therapy. These consensus recommendations, developed by the NNDC rTMS Task Group and APA CoR Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments, provide comprehensive information for the safe and effective clinical application of rTMS in the treatment of MDD.

PMID: 28541649 DOI: 10.4088/JCP.16cs10905

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 Jul;71(7):873-84. doi: 10.4088/JCP.08m04872gre. Epub 2010 Mar 9.Slotema CW1, Blom JD, Hoek HW, Sommer IE.


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a safe treatment method with few side effects. However, efficacy for various psychiatric disorders is currently not clear.


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.


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).


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.


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.

© Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.PMID: 20361902 DOI: 10.4088/JCP.08m04872gre

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