Objective: There is a paucity of information about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment for adolescent depression, and there are no data about its long-term effectiveness and safety in this age group. The aim of this study was to evaluate symptoms of depression and cognitive functioning in young people who had been treated 3 years previously with rTMS for resistant depression.
Methods: Eight of 9 subjects who had participated in an open-label rTMS study were reassessed using the Child and Adolescent Depression Rating Scale-Revised and the Beck Depression Inventory II. Six of the subjects were also cognitively reassessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. The follow-up assessments were compared with the earlier pretreatment, inter-treatment and posttreatment assessments.
Results: At 3-year follow-up, there was no evidence of deterioration in symptoms of depression or cognitive functioning compared to the last assessment after rTMS.
Conclusion: Preliminary evidence suggests that rTMS treatment of resistant depression in adolescents is not associated with long-term cognitive deterioration and that posttherapy clinical improvement can be maintained. It seems that some subjects may derive long-term benefit from the rTMS course.