Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder: a double-blind controlled investigation

Perminder S Sachdev, Colleen K Loo, Philip B Mitchell, Tara F McFarquhar, Gin S Malhi
Psychological Medicine 2007, 37 (11): 1645-9

BACKGROUND: To determine the efficacy and tolerability of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in a double-blind placebo-controlled study.

METHOD: Subjects with treatment-resistant OCD were randomized to rTMS (n = 10) or sham rTMS (n = 8) for 10 sessions of daily stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), with subjects and raters being blind to the treatment. Subjects were offered an open extension of up to 20 sessions of rTMS.

RESULTS: The two groups did not differ on change in Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) or Maudsley Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory scores over 10 sessions, with or without correction for depression ratings. Over 20 sessions, there was a significant reduction in total YBOCS scores, but not after controlling for depression. rTMS over 20 sessions was well tolerated.

CONCLUSION: Two weeks of rTMS over the left DLPFC is ineffective for treatment-resistant OCD.

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