Effect of Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation on Suicidal Ideation and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Depression with Suicide Attempt: A Randomized Sham-Controlled Study

SOURCE: Journal of Affective Disorders. 325:618-626, 2023 Mar 15.

AUTHORS: Zhao Y; He Z; Luo W; Yu Y; Chen J; Cai X; Gao J; Li L; Gao Q; Chen H; Lu F

BACKGROUND: Suicidal ideation is a serious symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD). Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is a safe, effective brain stimulation treatment for alleviating suicidal ideation in adults with MDD. This study aimed to examine the clinical efficacy of Itbs on reducing suicidal ideation in adolescent MDD with suicide attempt.

METHODS: In a randomized, sham-controlled protocol, a total of 10 sessions of iTBS was administrated to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in patients once a day for two weeks. The suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms were assessed using Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation-Chinese Version (BSI-CV), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-24), and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) at baseline and after 10 treatment sessions.

RESULTS: Forty-five patients were randomized assigned to either active iTBS (n = 23) or sham group (n = 22). The suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms of the active iTBS group were significantly ameliorated over 2 weeks of treatment. Further, higher baseline SDS, HAMD-24 and BSI-CV scores in the active iTBS group were associated with greater reductions.

LIMITATIONS: A larger sample size and double-blinded clinical trial should be conducted to verify the reliability and reproducibility.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study suggested that daily iTBS of the left DLPFC for 2 weeks could effectively and safely alleviate suicidal ideation and mitigate depression in adolescent MDD, especially for individuals with relatively more severe symptoms. Although caution is warranted, the findings could provide further evidence for the effectiveness and safety of iTBS in clinical practice.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032723000770?via%3Dihub