Unprecedented rate of depression-remission through an rTMS protocol.

New data on the treatment of depression was presented by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. In particular, according to an open study conducted by the University, a very short protocol of repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (iTBS) was applied, which managed to quickly relieve the symptoms of severe depression in 90% of the participants. The treatment was named “Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy“, or “SAINT” and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of depression.

ITBS is a form of transcranial magnetic stimulation in which higher overall magnetic pulse dose of stimulation is applied in a shorter period of time. SAINT is an improved version of the accelerated iTBS protocol that uses MRI (fcMRI) guidance for greater accuracy in targeting the spots of interest (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) in the brain.

The participants of the study underwent 10 sessions per day of 10-minute treatments, with 50-minute breaks in between. On average, 3 days of treatment were enough for participants to experience depression relief. More specifically, before treatment, the 21 participants experienced severe depression with suicidal ideation, resistant to medication. At the end of the sessions, 19 participants no longer reported depressive symptoms. Additionally, the only side effects of the new treatment were fatigue and some discomfort during the sessions.

According to the researchers, “no one expected these results as there has never been a therapy for treatment-resistant depression that’s broken 55% remission rates”. Even one month after treatment, 60% of the participants were still in remission as well as researchers perform follow-up studies to determine the duration of the antidepressant effect.

Source: https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.19070720?journalCode=ajp
#depression #fightdepression #rtms #ibms #transcranialmagneticstimulation

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