Li, Z., Yin, M., Lyu, X. L., Zhang, L. L., Du, X. D., & Hung, G. C. L. (2016). Delayed effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on negative symptoms of schizophrenia: findings from a randomized controlled trial. Psychiatry research, 240, 333-335.
In this randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study the authors investigated whether the benefits of rTMS for improving negative symptoms in schizophrenia may have a delayed onset, accounting for mixed findings in previous studies. Inpatients with schizophrenia on stable antipsychotic medication with persistent negative symptoms, received either active rTMS (n = 25) or sham (n = 22) five times a week for four weeks. High frequency (10Hz) rTMS was delivered at 110% of motor threshold, delivering 1500 pulses per session, for a total of 30000 pulses across the entire treatment. The Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) showed no differences between groups at baseline. After treatment, the active rTMS group had significant reductions in negative symptoms compared to baseline, but these were not significantly different to the sham group scores. However, by 8 weeks follow-up the active rTMS group showed a further reduction in symptoms, which reached statistical significance compared to the sham group. The authors concluded that the improvement in negative symptoms caused by active rTMS may be delayed, potentially caused by up regulation of B-adrenergic, 5-HT1A, and 5HT2 receptor functioning.
*For original abstract/publication see the link below.