Efficacy and Safety of Low-field Synchronized Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (sTMS) for Treatment of Major Depression.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) customarily uses high-field electromagnets to achieve therapeutic efficacy in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Low-field magnetic stimulation also may be useful for treatment of MDD, with fewer treatment-emergent adverse events. OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS: To examine efficacy, safety, and tolerability of low-field magnetic stimulation synchronized to an individual's alpha frequency (IAF) (synchronized TMS, or sTMS) for treatment of MDD. METHODS: Six-week double-blind sham-controlled treatment trial of a novel device that used three rotating neodymium magnets to deliver sTMS treatment. IAF was determined from a single-channel EEG prior to first treatment. Subjects had baseline 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HamD17) ≥ 17. RESULTS: 202 subjects comprised the intent-to-treat (ITT) sample, and 120 subjects completed treatment per-protocol (PP). There was no difference in efficacy between active and sham in the ITT sample. Subjects in the PP sample (N = 59), however, had significantly greater mean decrease in HamD17 than sham (N = 60) (-9.00 vs. -6.56, P = 0.033). PP subjects with a history of poor response or intolerance to medication showed greater improvement with sTMS than did treatment-naïve subjects (-8.58 vs. -4.25, P = 0.017). Efficacy in the PP sample reflects exclusion of subjects who received fewer than 80% of scheduled treatments or were inadvertently treated at the incorrect IAF; these subgroups failed to separate from sham. There was no difference in adverse events between sTMS and sham, and no serious adverse events attributable to sTMS. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that sTMS may be effective, safe, and well tolerated for treating MDD when administered as intended.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leuchter, AF; Cook, IA; Feifel, D; Goethe, JW; Husain, M; Carpenter, LL; Thase, ME; Krystal, AD; Philip, NS; Bhati, MT; Burke, WJ; Howland, RH; Sheline, YI; Aaronson, ST; Iosifescu, DV; O'Reardon, JP; Gilmer, WS; Jain, R; Burgoyne, KS; Phillips, B; Manberg, PJ; Massaro, J; Hunter, AM; Lisanby, SH; George, MS

Published Date

  • 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 787 - 794

PubMed ID

  • 26143022

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1876-4754

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.brs.2015.05.005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States