Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment Outcomes in Clinical Practice

Few studies have examined the effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in real-world clinical practice settings. Forty-two US-based clinical TMS practice sites treated 307 outpatients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and persistent symptoms despite antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Treatment was based on the labeled procedures of the approved TMS device. Assessments were performed at baseline, week 2, at the point of maximal acute benefit, and at week 6 when the acute course extended beyond 6 weeks. The primary outcome was change in the Clinician Global Impressions-Severity of Illness from baseline to end of acute phase. Secondary outcomes were change in continuous and categorical outcomes on self-report depression scales (9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9], and Inventory of Depressive Symptoms-Self Report [IDS-SR]). Patients had a mean ± SD age of 48.6 ± 14.2 years and 66.8% were female. Patients received an average of 2.5 (± 2.4) antidepressant treatments of adequate dose and duration without satisfactory improvement in this episode. There was a significant change in CGI-S from baseline to end of treatment (-1.9 ± 1.4, P < .0001). Clinician-assessed response rate (CGI-S) was 58.0% and remission rate was 37.1%. Patient-reported response rate ranged from 56.4 to 41.5% and remission rate ranged from 28.7 to 26.5%, (PHQ-9 and IDS-SR, respectively). Outcomes demonstrated response and adherence rates similar to research populations. These data indicate that TMS is an effective treatment for those unable to benefit from initial antidepressant medication.

Long-Term Efficacy of Repeated Daily Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in Treatment-Resistant Depression. Depress Anxiety. 2012 October ; 29(10): 883–890

A few studies have examined the durability of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) antidepressant benefit once patients remitted. This study examined the long-term durability of clinical benefit from TMS using a protocol-specified TMS taper and either continuation pharmacotherapy or naturalistic follow-up.

Effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation in clinical practice post-FDA approval in the United States: results observed with the first 100 consecutive cases of depression at an academic medical center. J Clin Psychiatry. 2012; 73: e567–73

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a US Food and Drug Administration–approved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) in patients who have not responded to 1 adequate antidepressant trial in the current episode. In a retrospective cohort study, we examined the effectiveness and safety of TMS in the first 100 consecutive patients treated for depression (full DSM-IV criteria for major depressive episode in either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder) at an academic medical center between July 21, 2008, and March 25, 2011.