Durability of clinical benefit with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of pharmacoresistant major depression: assessment of relapse during a 6-month, multisite, open-label study.
BACKGROUND: Although transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be an effective acute antidepressant treatment, few studies systematically examine persistence of benefit. OBJECTIVE: We assessed the durability of antidepressant effect after acute response to TMS in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) using protocol-specified maintenance antidepressant monotherapy. METHODS: Three hundred one patients were randomly assigned to active or sham TMS in a 6-week, controlled trial. Nonresponders could enroll in a second, 6-week, open-label study. Patients who met criteria for partial response (i.e., >25% decrease from the baseline HAMD 17) during either the sham-controlled or open-label study (n = 142) were tapered off TMS over 3 weeks, while simultaneously starting maintenance antidepressant monotherapy. Patients were then followed for 24 weeks in a naturalistic follow-up study examining the long-term durability of TMS. During this durability study, TMS was readministered if patients met prespecified criteria for symptom worsening (i.e., a change of at least one point on the CGI-S scale for 2 consecutive weeks). Relapse was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: Ten of 99 (10%; Kaplan-Meier survival estimate = 12.9%) patients relapsed. Thirty-eight (38.4%) patients met criteria for symptom worsening and 32/38 (84.2%) reachieved symptomatic benefit with adjunctive TMS. Safety and tolerability were similar to acute TMS monotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: These initial data suggest that the therapeutic effects of TMS are durable and that TMS may be successfully used as an intermittent rescue strategy to preclude impending relapse.
Janicak, PG; Nahas, Z; Lisanby, SH; Solvason, HB; Sampson, SM; McDonald, WM; Marangell, LB; Rosenquist, P; McCall, WV; Kimball, J; O'Reardon, JP; Loo, C; Husain, MH; Krystal, A; Gilmer, W; Dowd, SM; Demitrack, MA; Schatzberg, AF
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