TMS for Adolescents
TMS NYC – Antidepressant medication does not work for everyone. Individuals with treatment resistant depression (TRD) often fail to see any improvement in symptoms. Or, if symptoms do improve, they may return soon afterward. Largely for these reasons there is a serious need for additional treatment options.
Research in this domain has demonstrated that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a safe, well-tolerated, and effective intervention for TRD. This research however, has mainly focused on major depression among adult populations, with little attention given to youth with TRD. Taking this into account, MacMaster and colleagues sought to fill this gap in the literature. Based on the evidence from TMS studies for adults with TRD, they hypothesized that TMS would benefit youth with treatment resistant major depression.
TMS NYC Continued…
MacMaster et al. used an open-design study and enrolled participants age 12 – 22 years (n=32). TMS was applied over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex every week day for three weeks (totaling 15 treatment sessions). After three weeks of treatment, researchers observed a significant reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (Ham-D) scores. Of the 32 participants 18 responded to treatment. Of particular note, for this study “treatment response” was defined as a 50% or more reduction in Ham-D score. So, a participant may have had a 40% reduction in Ham-D score, however, based on the operational definition of “treatment response” used in this study, that person would be categorized as a non-responder.
Major depression can result in severe impairments that limit one’s ability to perform daily life activities. It is prevalent among youth and treatment options are limited. The study discussed here is one of few investigating TMS as a potential intervention for this population. These findings suggest youth with treatment resistant depression find relief from depressive symptoms after an acute course of TMS treatment.