Study subjects were antidepressant-free for one week prior to rTMS and received 10 daily treatments (10 trains of five seconds each, 25 seconds apart) at a frequency of 10 Hz. Seventy-eight percent of patients experienced mild-moderate discomfort at the site of stimulation, two patients who experienced severe pain in the treatment site dropped out of the study and eight percent of patients experienced a posttreatment headache.
The mean age of patients treated was 52 years. " rTMS seems most promising for older adults and for treatment-resistant patients with depression," says Dr. McDonald, who directs the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression at Wesley Woods.
Also collarborating on the study were Charles M. Epstein, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Emory; Liquong He, M.D., formerly with Emory; Autumn L. Clark, B.S., study coordinator in Emory's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Fred A. Marstellar, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory; and John Woodard, Ph.D., of the Georgia State University Memory Assessment Clinic.
The study was supported by a private grant from the Fuqua Foundation.