Transcranial magnetic stimulation in the treatment of depressions

Dahl Alv A, Aarre Trond F, Johansen Jarle B, Neckelmann D, Kjonniksen I
Record ID 32002000555
Authors' objectives:

This report assesses the available evidence for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Authors' recomendations: - Three out of 12 scientific studies found no clinical effects of rTMS on depressions. Seven studies reports clinical effects of limited magnitude (less than 50% reduction of depression measured by accepted instruments at the end of treatment). Two studies demonstrate a clinical response to treatment with rTMS (larger than 50% reduction in depression). - None of the studies document rTMS effects beyond the treatment period. - Two studies compares rTMS with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and these studies finds differences in favour of ECT. The patients were not followed after the treatment period. - The cost of ECT and rTMS treatment is comparable. - rTMS is well tolerated and has few side effects. - There is presently a lack of clinical documentation that justifies rTMS in widespread management of depressed patients.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Norway
MeSH Terms
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial
Organisation Name: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Contact Address: Universitetsgata 2, Postbox 7004 St. Olavs plass, NO-0310 Oslo NORWAY. Tel: +47 23 25 50 00; Fax: +47 23 25 50 10;
Contact Name:,
Contact Email:,
Copyright: The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.