Individual Alpha Frequency Proximity Associated with Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Outcome: An Independent Replication Study from the ICON-DB Consortium

SOURCE: Clinical Neurophysiology. 132(2):643-649, 2021 02.

AUTHORS: Roelofs CL; Krepel N; Corlier J; Carpenter LL; Fitzgerald PB; Daskalakis ZJ; Tendolkar I; Wilson A; Downar J; Bailey NW; Blumberger DM; Vila-Rodriguez F; Leuchter AF; Arns M

The aim of the current study was to attempt to replicate the finding that the individual alpha frequency (IAF) as well as the absolute difference between IAF and 10 Hz stimulation frequency (IAF-prox) is related to treatment outcome.

METHODS: Correlations were performed to investigate the relationship between IAF-prox and percentage symptom improvement in a sample of 153 patients with major depressive disorder treated with 10 Hz (N = 59) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) or 1 Hz (N = 94) to the right DLPFC repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).

RESULTS: There was a significant negative correlation between IAF-prox and the percentage of symptom improvement only for the 10 Hz group. Curve fitting models revealed that there was a quadratic association between IAF and treatment response in the 10 Hz group, with a peak at 10 Hz IAF.

CONCLUSION: The main result of Corlier and colleagues was replicated, and the findings suggest that the distance between 10 Hz stimulation frequency and the IAF may influence clinical outcome in a non-linear manner.

SIGNIFICANCE: rTMS is often administered at a frequency of 10 Hz, which is the center of the EEG alpha frequency band. The results can make a significant contribution to optimizing the clinical application of rTMS.