Is theta burst stimulation ready as a clinical treatment for depression?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Major depression is a common and debilitating mental disorder that can be difficult to treat. Substantive evidence over the past two decades has established repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as an effective antidepressant therapy, although scope exists to improve its efficacy and efficiency. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a novel rTMS pattern attracting much research interest as a tool to study neurophysiology and treat neuropsychiatric disorders.

Areas covered: This article outlines rTMS’ state of development and explores the physiology studies underpinning TBS development and its observable neuronal conditioning and metabolic effects. We present a systematic review of studies that applied TBS to treat depression, followed by commentary on safety and practical considerations.

Expert opinion: Much experimental and clinical research have advanced our understanding of the antidepressant effects of TBS, although unanswered questions remain relating to its physiological effects, response variability and optimal parameters for therapeutic purposes. A small number of sham-controlled trials, and one large comparative trial, support the therapeutic efficacy of TBS and demonstrates its non-inferiority relative to traditional rTMS. In this light, TBS can reasonably be offered as an alternative to rTMS in treatment-resistant depression, while ongoing research is likely to inform its therapeutic potential.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Neurotherapeutics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Brain stimulation
  • depression
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • theta burst stimulation
  • treatment resistant depression

Cite this

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title = "Is theta burst stimulation ready as a clinical treatment for depression?",
abstract = "Introduction: Major depression is a common and debilitating mental disorder that can be difficult to treat. Substantive evidence over the past two decades has established repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as an effective antidepressant therapy, although scope exists to improve its efficacy and efficiency. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a novel rTMS pattern attracting much research interest as a tool to study neurophysiology and treat neuropsychiatric disorders.Areas covered: This article outlines rTMS’ state of development and explores the physiology studies underpinning TBS development and its observable neuronal conditioning and metabolic effects. We present a systematic review of studies that applied TBS to treat depression, followed by commentary on safety and practical considerations.Expert opinion: Much experimental and clinical research have advanced our understanding of the antidepressant effects of TBS, although unanswered questions remain relating to its physiological effects, response variability and optimal parameters for therapeutic purposes. A small number of sham-controlled trials, and one large comparative trial, support the therapeutic efficacy of TBS and demonstrates its non-inferiority relative to traditional rTMS. In this light, TBS can reasonably be offered as an alternative to rTMS in treatment-resistant depression, while ongoing research is likely to inform its therapeutic potential.",
keywords = "Brain stimulation, depression, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, theta burst stimulation, treatment resistant depression",
author = "Leo Chen and Chung, {Sung Wook} and Hoy, {Kate E.} and Fitzgerald, {Paul B.}",
year = "2019",
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language = "English",
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Is theta burst stimulation ready as a clinical treatment for depression? / Chen, Leo; Chung, Sung Wook; Hoy, Kate E.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.

In: Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 11.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Fitzgerald, Paul B.

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N2 - Introduction: Major depression is a common and debilitating mental disorder that can be difficult to treat. Substantive evidence over the past two decades has established repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as an effective antidepressant therapy, although scope exists to improve its efficacy and efficiency. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a novel rTMS pattern attracting much research interest as a tool to study neurophysiology and treat neuropsychiatric disorders.Areas covered: This article outlines rTMS’ state of development and explores the physiology studies underpinning TBS development and its observable neuronal conditioning and metabolic effects. We present a systematic review of studies that applied TBS to treat depression, followed by commentary on safety and practical considerations.Expert opinion: Much experimental and clinical research have advanced our understanding of the antidepressant effects of TBS, although unanswered questions remain relating to its physiological effects, response variability and optimal parameters for therapeutic purposes. A small number of sham-controlled trials, and one large comparative trial, support the therapeutic efficacy of TBS and demonstrates its non-inferiority relative to traditional rTMS. In this light, TBS can reasonably be offered as an alternative to rTMS in treatment-resistant depression, while ongoing research is likely to inform its therapeutic potential.

AB - Introduction: Major depression is a common and debilitating mental disorder that can be difficult to treat. Substantive evidence over the past two decades has established repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as an effective antidepressant therapy, although scope exists to improve its efficacy and efficiency. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) is a novel rTMS pattern attracting much research interest as a tool to study neurophysiology and treat neuropsychiatric disorders.Areas covered: This article outlines rTMS’ state of development and explores the physiology studies underpinning TBS development and its observable neuronal conditioning and metabolic effects. We present a systematic review of studies that applied TBS to treat depression, followed by commentary on safety and practical considerations.Expert opinion: Much experimental and clinical research have advanced our understanding of the antidepressant effects of TBS, although unanswered questions remain relating to its physiological effects, response variability and optimal parameters for therapeutic purposes. A small number of sham-controlled trials, and one large comparative trial, support the therapeutic efficacy of TBS and demonstrates its non-inferiority relative to traditional rTMS. In this light, TBS can reasonably be offered as an alternative to rTMS in treatment-resistant depression, while ongoing research is likely to inform its therapeutic potential.

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