Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation for adolescents with treatment-resistant depression: A preliminary dose-finding study exploring safety and clinical effectiveness

Michelle Thai, Aparna U. Nair, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, C. Sophia Albott, Thanharat Silamongkol, Michelle Corkrum, Dawson Hill, Justin W. Roemer, Charles P. Lewis, Paul E. Croarkin, Kelvin O. Lim, Alik S. Widge, Ziad Nahas, Lynn E. Eberly, Kathryn R. Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an intervention for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) that modulates neural activity. Deep TMS (dTMS) can target not only cortical but also deeper limbic structures implicated in depression. Although TMS has demonstrated safety in adolescents, dTMS has yet to be applied to adolescent TRD. Objective/hypothesis: This pilot study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and clinical effects of dTMS in adolescents with TRD. We hypothesized dTMS would be safe, tolerable, and efficacious for adolescent TRD. Methods: 15 adolescents with TRD (Age, years: M = 16.4, SD = 1.42) completed a six-week daily dTMS protocol targeting the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BrainsWay H1 coil, 30 sessions, 10 Hz, 3.6 s train duration, 20s inter-train interval, 55 trains; 1980 total pulses per session, 80 % to 120 % of motor threshold). Participants completed clinical, safety, and neurocognitive assessments before and after treatment. The primary outcome was depression symptom severity measured by the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R). Results: 14 out of 15 participants completed the dTMS treatments. One participant experienced a convulsive syncope; the other participants only experienced mild side effects (e.g., headaches). There were no serious adverse events and minimal to no change in cognitive performance. Depression symptom severity significantly improved pre- to post-treatment and decreased to a clinically significant degree after 10 treatment sessions. Six participants met criteria for treatment response. Limitations: Main limitations include a small sample size and open-label design. Conclusions: These findings provide preliminary evidence that dTMS may be tolerable and associated with clinical improvement in adolescent TRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-600
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume354
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Depression
  • Neuromodulation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Treatment-resistance

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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