Novel Intervention of High-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Patients with Somatic Symptom Disorder and Its Safety and Outcome

SOURCE: Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 65(8) (pp 887-891), 2023


AUTHORS: Kumar N.; Singal P.; Chakladar A.

ABSTRACT: Somatic Symptom disorders (SSDs) are characterised by the presence of persistent somatic symptoms associated with excessive thoughts, feelings and behaviours related to the symptoms. However, current treatment modalities are non-specific with modest effects. We aim to explore the safety and outcome of high-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation at medial Prefrontal Cortex in ten such patients. Patient Health Questionnaire-15, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale were applied to ten patients with Somatic Symptom Disorder. 15 sessions of 15Hz TMS using a double cone coil with 2500 pulses/session were administered. All patients completed their sessions except one. Eight of the nine patients reported significant improvement with a reduction of 33%-80% from their baseline PHQ-15 scores. One patient reported significant adverse effects. Double cone coil TMS at medial Prefrontal Cortex appears to be a safe therapeutic intervention with potentially good outcomes in SSDs.