Add-On Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation Improves the Efficacy of First-Episode and Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder: Real-World Clinical Practice

SOURCE: Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 19 (pp 109-116), 2023.


AUTHORS: Li G.; Lei L.; Yang C.; Liu Z.; Zhang K.-R.

OBJECTIVE: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an effective and evidence-based treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). This retrospective study aimed to explore the efficacy of add-on iTBS treatment in MDD in real-world clinical practice.

METHOD(S): One hundred and fifty-nine inpatients with MDD in a general hospital were included in this study. These patients were treated with at least 8 sessions of iTBS, in addition to antidepressants and supportive psychotherapy. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAMA) at baseline and after 2-4 weeks of treatment. The improvement degree of depressive and anxious symptoms was compared between the first-episode MDD (n=107) and recurrent MDD (n=52) groups.

RESULT(S): Depressive and anxious symptoms were reduced significantly after the add-on iTBS treatment; the response and remission rates in the first-episode MDD group were 55.14% and 28.97%, which were 63.46% and 28.85% for the recurrent MDD group, respectively (P>0.05). The response rate and remission rate of anxiety in the first-episode MDD group was 64.13% and 57.45% for HAMA, and 66.67% and 62.50% for the recurrent MDD group (P>0.05).

CONCLUSION(S): Our findings indicated that antidepressant and anti-anxiety efficacy of add-on iTBS treatment remains equivocal in real-world clinical practice, regardless of a first-episode depression diagnosis or recurrent depression.