Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in drug-resistant schizophrenics

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Abstract

Background

Despite the advances in pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia, the results are unsatisfactory. Therefore, the search for new antipsychotic drugs and the development of novel treatments for schizophrenia are critical. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is one of the tools that may help schizophrenic patients.

Aim of the study

To evaluate the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (r-TMS) in the treatment of drug-resistant schizophrenic patients.

Patients and methods

This study included 40 drug-resistant schizophrenic patients. In a random, double-blind placebo-controlled study, 30 patients were treated by 15 r-TMS sessions to both the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left temporoparietal cortex for 3 weeks. Ten patients were randomly subjected to sham stimulation (placebo group). Before and after the treatment sessions, all patients were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, and cognitive tests.

Results

r-TMS could significantly improve only the negative symptoms. The positive symptoms, general psychopathology, and cognitive functions did not show any significant changes. The sham (placebo group) did not show any significant changes in schizophrenic symptoms and cognitive functions.

Conclusion

r-TMS can be a useful add-on treatment that helps to improve negative schizophrenic symptoms in drug-resistant patients.

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