Augmentation effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the supplementary motor cortex in treatment refractory patients with obsessive compulsive disorder

Nand Kumar, R K Chadda
Indian Journal of Psychiatry 2011, 53 (4): 340-2

BACKGROUND: There are only a few effective treatment options currently available for treatment-refractory obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The supplementary motor area (SMA) has been reported to play an important role in the pathophysiology of OCD. Functional neuroimaging studies indicate that OCD is associated with increased activity in the SMA, caudate nucleus, and anterior cingulate gyrus. Novel treatment strategies like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) have been proposed for OCD refractory to standard treatments. These clinic-based data report on the efficacy of rTMS in medication-resistant OCD.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve right-handed persons with medication-resistant OCD were administered rTMS as an add-on treatment. Stimulation was given at 1 Hz for 10 seconds followed by 15 seconds pause and 100 trains of stimulus over the SMA per session for 5 days in a week. Assessments were done on yale brown obsessive compulsive scale (Y-BOCS) at baseline and at the end of rTMS intervention.

RESULTS: The subjects had a mean age of 33.17±12.74 years. Mean scores on Y-BOCS were 26.17 at baseline and 17.17 at the end of treatment, reflecting significant improvement. The subjects did not report any significant side effects except one person with known bipolar illness, who developed manic symptoms after the 3(rd) session of the rTMS.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-frequency rTMS over the SMA appears a promising treatment strategy as an add-on treatment in treatment-refractory patients of OCD.

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