Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used as a diagnostic tool in neurology for more than a decade. Recent research indicates that it when applied repeatedly as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has an antidepressant effect. RTMS is based on the principle of electro-magnetism. An electromagnetic coil placed on the scalp produces a time-varying magnetic field, which gives rise to a current in the proximity of the cerebral cortex. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) rTMS does normally not give rise to epileptic seizures and does not require anaesthesia. This review covers a critical summary of the literature on the subject. The results of recent placebo-controlled, randomized trials are promising. However, further investigations are required, before rTMS can be fully integrated in the antidepressant therapeutic armamentarium.
Ugeskr Laeger 2000 Apr 17;162(16):2310-3
Arhus Universitetshospital, Psykiatrisk Hospital i Arhus, Forskningsafdeling for Affektive Sygdomme.