Clinical Indications For Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) – Dr. Martijn Arns
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.
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.
- rTMS is not indicated for psychotic depression which acts as a poor indicator of response to rTMS
- 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.
- 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.
- Studies of rTMS as a treatment for PTSD show some improvement in patients but mainly in their symptoms of depression.
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