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The effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on cocaine addiction

Publication Reference

Terraneo, A., Leggio, L., Saladini, M., Ermani, M., Bonci, A., & Gallimberti, L. (2016). Transcranial magnetic stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduces cocaine use: a pilot study. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(1), 37-44.


Article Summary*

In this small pilot study individuals with cocaine addiction were randomly assigned to receive either standard pharmacological therapy (control group, n = 16) or 8 sessions of high-frequency (15Hz) rTMS over the left DLPFC (n = 16).  All participants tested positive for cocaine use at baseline, but significantly more participants abstained from cocaine use during the treatment phase in the rTMS group (11; 69%) compared to the control group (3; 19%).  Similarly, cocaine cravings were significantly lower in the rTMS group compared to the control group.  All participants in the rTMS group completed the treatment phase, compared to 13 in the control group. After this initial treatment phase, all participants were offered the option of rTMS in a 63 days follow-up period. Ten of the control group switched to rTMS and 15/16 (94%) rTMS participants completed the full follow-up period.  Analysis showed that members of the control group that switched to rTMS had a significant reduction in cocaine use and cravings compared with their responses during pharmacological management. 69% of participants in the rTMS group saw a reduction in cocaine use compared to only 19% of participants in the control group. Further, these improvements were comparable to those seen in the initial rTMS group. There were no serious adverse effects reported.


*For original abstract/publication see the link below.


Publication link: Transcranial magnetic stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduces cocaine use: A pilot study – ScienceDirect

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