TMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder

Colleen Loo

in Oxford Handbook of Transcranial Stimulation

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780198568926
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744013 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 TMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder

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  • Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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There is a growing body of literature on animal experiments using behavioural paradigms or investigations of neurobiological mechanisms to assess the antidepressant effects of repetitive (r)TMS. This article summarizes the findings from these studies. The evidence from these studies is supportive of antidepressant effects for rTMS. This evidence has provided several plausible hypotheses for the antidepressant effects of rTMS. Several studies have suggested that rTMS may have neuroprotective effects. There are many variations in the way rTMS can be given as a clinical treatment, involving choices over treatment site, stimulation parameters and treatment course. Clinical trials to date have found rTMS to be safe when given within recommended parameter guidelines. Further research is needed to understand the role of rTMS with respect to other established antidepressant treatments.

Keywords: behavioural paradigms; neurobiological mechanisms; antidepressant effects; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; neuroprotective effects

Article.  15994 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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