Impact of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the Symptom Profile of Major Depressive Episode
Australasian Psychiatry. 27(3):297-301, 2019 Jun.
May T; Pridmore S.
This study aimed to explore the effects of a four-week course of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the following symptoms of major depressive episode (MDE): mood, work activities, health concerns, guilt, anxiety and retardation.
Patients underwent 20 daily sessions of 10 Hz TMS (two sets of 10 daily treatments separated by two days of rest). The six-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-6) was administered before and after treatment. Remission was operationalised as a HAMD-6 score of <4. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used to compare pre/post scores on HAMD-6 subscales, and logistic regression was used to understand symptoms that predicted remission/non-remission.
There were 104 participants (79 female; 76%), with a mean age of 44.6 years (SD=15.7 years). There was a significant improvement in the whole sample and in remitters (n=70) on all subscales. However, those who failed to remit did not achieve significant reductions in ‘health concerns’ and ‘retardation’. There were no difference in age and sex between remitters and non-remitters. Also, there were no significant differences between the remitters and non-remitters on the pretreatment depression symptom profiles. No predictors of response were identified, as expected.
TMS has the ability to reduce all listed MDE symptoms. No pretreatment MDE symptom profile was identified which might carry prognostic value.