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Transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of major depression

Authors Janicak P, Dokucu ME

Received 16 February 2015

Accepted for publication 31 March 2015

Published 26 June 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1549—1560

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S67477

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Philip G Janicak, Mehmet E Dokucu

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Major depression is often difficult to diagnose accurately. Even when the diagnosis is properly made, standard treatment approaches (eg, psychotherapy, medications, or their combination) are often inadequate to control acute symptoms or maintain initial benefit. Additional obstacles involve safety and tolerability problems, which frequently preclude an adequate course of treatment. This leaves an important gap in our ability to properly manage major depression in a substantial proportion of patients, leaving them vulnerable to ensuing complications (eg, employment-related disability, increased risk of suicide, comorbid medical disorders, and substance abuse). Thus, there is a need for more effective and better tolerated approaches. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a neuromodulation technique increasingly used to partly fill this therapeutic void. In the context of treating depression, we critically review the development of transcranial magnetic stimulation, focusing on the results of controlled and pragmatic trials for depression, which consider its efficacy, safety, and tolerability.

Keywords: electroconvulsive therapy, treatment-resistant depression, major depression, transcranial magnetic stimulation

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