Clinical Indications For Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) – Dr. Martijn Arns

Posted on: February 8, 2019
Last Updated: September 21, 2020

Dr. Sanil Rege, Consultant Psychiatrist and Founder of Psych Scene and Psych Scene Hub speaks to Dr. Martijn Arns, Chief Scientific Adviser, neuroCare Group; Founding Director & Senior Researcher at Research Institute Brainclinics.

Author Quote

Relying on the DSM criteria for diagnosis of depression, at this point in time, the best suited candidate is one with treatment-resistant depression, meaning in my view having failed one or two treatments. I think there is only one patient group that does not respond very well to rTMS and that’s patients with psychotic depression.

Take-home Messages

  1. rTMS is not indicated for psychotic depression which acts as a poor indicator of response to rTMS
  2. rTMS may be suitable for patients who are unable or unwilling to use medication e.g. patients who are depressed and pregnant, although systematic research into side effects has yet to been undertaken.
  3. There are no data on how rTMS affects the developing brain and the technique is currently only available to patients over 18 years of age. However, adolescents with depression may be a group who would benefit and research needs to be expanded into this area.
  4. Studies of rTMS as a treatment for PTSD show some improvement in patients but mainly in their symptoms of depression.


Learn more

  1. New Developments in Neuromodulation & Stimulation in Psychiatry – Dr. Martjin Arns
  2. Neurofeedback and The Role of Sleep in Psychiatric Disorders – Dr. Martjin Arns
  3. Number of Sessions & Pulses Required for Optimal Results of rTMS – Dr. Martjin Arns
  4. The Potential Side Effects of rTMS – Dr.Martjin Arns
  5. Localising The Exact Point of Maximum Stimulation For rTMS – Dr. Martjin Arns
  6. The Principle Behind Choosing The Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex for rTMS – Dr. Martjin Arns
  7. Key Differences Between High Frequency & Low Frequency rTMS Protocols – Dr. Martjin Arns
  8. Typical Response & Remission Rates of rTMS in Treatment Resistant Cases – Dr. Martijn Arns
  9. Key Differences Between rTMS and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – Dr. Martijn Arns
  10. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in Depression – Conversations with Dr. Martijn Arns, Neuromodulation Expert
  11. What are the Reasons for the Rise in Interest in Neuromodulation? – Conversations with Dr. Martijn Arns, Neuromodulation Expert
  12. How Did You Get Interested in the Field of Neuromodulation? – Conversations with Dr. Martijn Arns, Neuromodulation Expert