Electrophysiological and Behavioral Effects of Unilateral and Bilateral rTMS; A Randomized Clinical Trial on Rumination and Depression

SOURCE: Journal of Affective Disorders. 317:360-372, 2022 Nov 15.

AUTHORS: Kazemi R; Rostami R; Nasiri Z; Hadipour AL; Kiaee N; Coetzee JP; Philips A; Brown R; Seenivasan S; Adamson MM

BACKGROUND: Rumination is significantly frequent in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, not a lot of studies have investigated the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on rumination.

METHODS: 61 participants with a minimum Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) score of 20 were randomly assigned to sham, bilateral stimulation (BS) or unilateral stimulation (US) groups. EEG, The Ruminative Response Scale (RRS), and HAM-D were administered before and after the 20 sessions of rTMS. Phase locked values (PLV) were calculated as a measure of connectivity.

RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in HAM-D scores in both BS and US. In responders, BS and US differed significantly in RRS total scores, with greater reduction in BS. PLV significantly changed in the default mode network (DMN) in delta, theta, alpha, and beta in BS, in responders of which PLV decreased in the DMN in beta and gamma. Positive correlations between PLV and brooding in delta and theta, and negative correlations between PLV and reflection were found in theta, alpha, and beta. In US, connectivity in the DMN increased in beta, and PLV increased in theta and beta, and decreased in alpha and beta in its responders. Positive correlations between PLV and brooding in the delta and theta, as well as negative correlations between PLV and reflection in theta were observed in the DMN.

CONCLUSION: US and BS resulted in different modulations in the DMN, however, both could alleviate both rumination and depression. Reductions in the beta and alpha frequency bands in the DMN can be considered as potential EEG-based markers of response to bilateral and unilateral rTMS, respectively.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2022.08.098