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Logo of jnnpsycJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and PsychiatryVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1999 July; 67(1): 113–115.
PMCID: PMC1736432

Right frontal lobe slow frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (SF r-TMS) is an effective treatment for depression: a case-control pilot study of safety and efficacy

Abstract

Major depression may result from decreased left frontal lobe function with respect to the right. Fast frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (FF r-TMS) excites the underlying cortex whereas slow frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (SF r-TMS) causes cortical inhibition. Left frontal FF r-TMS attenuates major depression whereas the inhibitory effects of right frontal SF r-TMS are unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that right frontal SF r-TMS would treat depressed patients with minimal effect on controls.
A psychiatrist administered the Beck depression inventory and Hamilton D depression rating scales to eight depressed patients and six controls before and after the treatment protocol. Eight sessions of 100 right frontal lobe SF r-TMS were given at motor threshold and 0.5 Hz over a 6 week period. No adverse outcomes were noted in either group. A significant antidepressant effect was noted in depressed patients on the Beck and Hamilton D depression rating scales (p<0.05). No change on either scale was noted in the controls. In conclusion right frontal lobe SF r-TMS is a safe, non-invasive treatment for major depression that deserves further investigation.


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