APA 2014: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for GAD


The Particulars: Only about half of patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) achieve symptom relief with current treatment options. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may help, but no large, randomized controlled trials have explored its efficacy in patients with GAD.

Data Breakdown: For a study, patients with GAD were randomly assigned to receive repeat TMS (rTMS) at the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or a sham procedure for 15 minutes five times per week for 6 weeks. Among those who completed treatment, 70% of patients in the rTMS group achieved a significant clinical response, compared with a 25% rate in the sham group. Response rates at 3-month follow-up were 80% for the rTMS group and 0% for the sham group.

Take Home Pearls: For patients with GAD, rTMS appears to be a promising treatment option. Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.

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