a randomized, placebo- controlled study

Doctoral thesis German OPEN
Hall, Franziska van (2012)
  • Publisher: Freie Universität Berlin Universitätsbibliothek, Garystr. 39, 14195 Berlin
  • Subject: 610 Medizin und Gesundheit | 610 Medical sciences; Medicine | add-on- design | escitalopram | neuropsychological outcomes | rTMS | major depression | repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
    • ddc: ddc:610
    mesheuropmc: psychological phenomena and processes | musculoskeletal, neural, and ocular physiology | mental disorders | nervous system | behavioral disciplines and activities

Introduction: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a well-tolerated non-invasive method, which has also been proved to have mild antidepressant effects and is used as “add-on“-therapy in treating pharmaco-resistant major depression. Objective: The efficacy of an escitalopram plus rTMS-combination-treatment was evaluated and compared to escitalopram plus sham rTMS. Methods: We designed a four week-, randomized, rater-blinded, and controlled add-on study with two treatment arms. 29 depressed patients were randomized to receive either 20 sessions of rTMS as add-on to pharmacotherapy with escitalopram, or escitalopram combined with sham rTMS. rTMS was applied at 20 Hz over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex . Main outcome measure was the 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD- 17) total score after four weeks. Results: After four weeks of treatment both groups had a measurable benefit: However, the patients receiving escitalopram in combination with real rTMS did not improve significantly better than those receiving escitalopram in combination with sham rTMS. Discussion: There is no evidence for an enhanced response when using a combination of escitalopram and rTMS as compared to escitalopram monotherapy.
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