Follow-up study of children whose mothers were treated with transcranial magnetic stimulation during pregnancy: preliminary results

Neuromodulation. 2015 Jun;18(4):255-60. doi: 10.1111/ner.12231. Epub 2014 Sep 25.


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS) treatment during pregnancy on neurodevelopment of children.

Materials and methods: Women who were treated with rTMS during pregnancy and delivered liveborn children between 2008 and 2013 were selected. A control group consisted of children whose mothers had a history of untreated depression during their pregnancy (N = 26). Early developmental characteristics of all the children in the study were evaluated, and their developmental levels were determined using the Ankara Developmental Screening Inventory.

Results: The mean age of the children in the rTMS treatment group was 32.4 months (range 16-64 months), and that of the untreated group was 29.04 (range 14-63 months). Jaundice (N = 2) and febrile convulsion (N = 1) were the reported medical conditions in the children of the rTMS-treated group; jaundice (N = 3) and low birth weight (N = 1) were reported in the untreated group. In the rTMS group, mothers' perception of delay in language development was observed, but there were not any statistically significant differences in the prevalence rate compared with the untreated group (OR = 0.38; 95% CI 0.0860-1.6580).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that rTMS exposure during pregnancy is not associated with poorer cognitive or motor development outcomes in children aged 18-62 months. Although language development as reported by the mothers was found to be poorer than expected in the rTMS-treated group, the delay was found to be similar to the language delay observed in offspring of untreated mothers, as reported in previous studies of prenatal depression treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Keywords: Language; neurodevelopment; pregnancy outcomes; safety; transcranial magnetic stimulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / adverse effects*