Objective: The efficacy and safety of left prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treating resistant major depression were examined in a double-blind, controlled study.
Method: Eighteen medication-resistant depressed subjects were randomly assigned to 2 weeks of real or sham rTMS, then permitted up to 4 weeks of real rTMS. Effects on mood, neuropsychological function, EEG, and hearing were assessed.
Results: The groups receiving real and sham rTMS improved in mood significantly over the 2-week double-blind period, but there was no significant difference between groups.
Conclusions: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation did not provide significantly greater improvement than did sham treatment. A 4-week course of rTMS, as administered in this study, was safe.