Background. The efficacy and safety of bilateral prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for treating resistant major depression were examined in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Method. Nineteen medication-resistant depressed subjects were randomly assigned to 3 weeks of active or sham rTMS. Effects on mood and neuropsychological function were assessed.
Results. Both groups improved significantly in mood over the 3 weeks, but there was no significant difference between active and sham treatments. There were no significant neuropsychological effects.
Conclusions. Bilateral rTMS was not superior to sham in treating resistant depression in this pilot study, but caused no neuropsychological impairment.