A Pilot Randomised Double-Blind Study of the Tolerability and efficacy of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Persistent Post-Concussion Syndrome

Zahra Moussavi, Abdelbaset Suleiman, Grant Rutherford, Omid Ranjbar Pouya, Zeinab Dastgheib, Weijia Zhang, Jennifer Salter, Xikui Wang, Behzad Mansouri, Brian Lithgow

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effect of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) on persistent post-concussion syndrome (PCS). The study design was a randomized (coin toss), placebo controlled, and double-blind study. Thirty-seven participants with PCS were assessed for eligibility; 22 were randomised and 18 completed the study requirements. Half the participants with PCS were given an Active rTMS intervention and the other half given Sham rTMS over 3 weeks. Follow ups were at the end of treatment and at 30 and 60 days. The primary outcome measure was the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPQ3 & RPQ13). The results indicate participants with more recent injuries (<12 month), who received Active rTMS, showed significant improvements compared to those of: 1) the same subgroup who received Sham, and 2) those with a longer duration of injury (>14 months) who received Active rTMS. This improvement predominantly manifested in RPQ13 in the follow up periods 1 and 2 months after the intervention (RPQ13 change (mean ± SD): at 1 month, Active = −21.8 ± 6.6, Sham = −2.2 ± 9.8; at 2 months, Active = −21.2 ± 5.3, Sham = −5.4 ± 13.7). No improvement was found in the subgroup with longer duration injuries. The results support rTMS as a tolerable and potentially effective treatment option for individuals with a recent (<1 year) concussion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5498
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019

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