Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation: a putative add-on treatment for major depression in elderly patients.

Mosimann, Urs P.; Schmitt, Wolfgang; Greenberg, Benjamin D.; Kosel, Markus M.; Müri, René M.; Berkhoff, Magdalena; Hess, Christian W.; Fisch, Hans-Ulrich; Schläpfer, Thomas E. (2004). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation: a putative add-on treatment for major depression in elderly patients. Psychiatry research, 126(2), pp. 123-133. Elsevier 10.1016/j.psychres.2003.10.006

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a recent putative treatment for affective disorders. Several studies have demonstrated antidepressant effects of rTMS in younger patients; we aimed to assess its effect in older outpatients with treatment-resistant major depression. Twenty-four outpatients (mean age=62 years, S.D.=12) with major depression were randomized for sham or real stimulation and received 10 daily rTMS sessions (20 Hz, 2-s trains, 28-s intertrain intervals, 100% of motor threshold) in addition to the antidepressant medication. For sham stimulation, the coil was tilted 90 degrees. Depression severity was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, items from the NIMH self-rated symptom scale, and a visual analog depression scale. Mini-Mental Status Examination performance, memory, and executive and attentional functions were measured to control for cognitive side effects. Depression ratings revealed significant antidepressant effects within 2 weeks in both sham and real stimulation groups; however, there were no between-group differences. Treatment with rTMS was safe; adverse events were rare and not more prevalent in either group, and cognitive assessment did not show any deterioration. We were unable to demonstrate any additional antidepressant effects of real stimulation in elderly patients with treatment-resistant major depression. Therapeutic effects of rTMS in this clinically challenging patient group remain to be demonstrated.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Faculty Institutions > Teaching Staff, Faculty of Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Pavillon 52 > Forschungsgruppe Perzeption und Okulomotorik

UniBE Contributor:

Schmitt, Wolfgang, Kosel, Markus Mathäus, Müri, René Martin, Hess, Christian Walter, Fisch, Hans-Ulrich, Schläpfer, Thomas E.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Pascal Wurtz

Date Deposited:

18 Jul 2014 10:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:



Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback