Long-lasting effects of high frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in major depressed patients

Marco Bortolomasi, Alessandra Minelli, Giorgio Fuggetta, Michele Perini, Sandra Comencini, Antonio Fiaschi, Paolo Manganotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The majority of previous clinical studies have indicated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may have antidepressant effects. Herein, we investigated the longitudinal, long-term antidepressant efficacy of daily left prefrontal cortex (PFC) rTMS for a 1-week period. Nineteen patients were randomly assigned to two treatment groups at 90% of individual motor threshold (MT): Twelve received active repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and seven received sham treatment. Each patient underwent five sessions of twenty 2-s trains of 20 Hz rTMS with 800 stimuli/day. The Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were used to assess severity of depression at 1, 4 and 12 weeks post-therapy. A significant reduction of baseline depression scores was observed after 1 week of active treatment that lasted for 1 month, indicating improvement of depressive symptoms. No significant effects were observed in patients receiving sham treatment. The results of this controlled study are in agreement with the findings of previous studies suggesting that daily left PFC rTMS has an antidepressant effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-6
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2007


  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Treatment Outcome

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