Introduction: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has proven effective. Recently, a greater intracranial penetration coil has been developed. We tested the efficacy of the coil in the treatment of resistant major depression. Methods: Our sample included seven patients suffering from major depression who were treated using Brainsway's H1-coil connected to a Magstim rapid 2 stimulator. Deep TMS treatment was given to each patient in five sessions per week over a period of 4 weeks. Patients were treated with 120% intensity of the motor threshold and a frequency of 20HZ with a total of 1,680 pulses per session. Results: Five patients completed 20 sessions: one attained remission (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)=9); three patients reached a reduction of more than 50% in their pre-treatment HDRS; and one patient achieved a partial response (i.e., the HDRS score dropped from 21 to 12). Average HDRS score dropped to 12.6 and average Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale score dropped to 9. Two patients dropped out: one due to insomnia and the second due to a lack of response. Discussion: Compared to the pooled response and remission rates when treating major depression with rTMS, deep TMS as used in this study is at least similarly effective. Still, a severe limitation of this study is its small sample size, which makes the comparison of the two methods in terms of their effectiveness or side effects impossible. Greater numbers of subjects should be studied to achieve this aim. Conclusions: An H1 deep TMS coil could be used as an alternative treatment for major depressive disorder. Depression and Anxiety 27:465-469, 2010.
- Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Major depressive disorder
- Treatment resistant patients