The Temerty Centre for Therapeutic Brain Intervention at CAMH, the rTMS Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital and the NINET Lab at UBC/Centre for Brain Health presented preliminary results at the 1st International Conference in Singapore (work published in abstract form: Blumberger et al. Brain Stimulation 8 (2015) 326e342 -available on Researchgate.net).
This study compares the conventional rTMS treatment that takes 40 minutes to deliver every day for six weeks to a new from of TMS called Theta Burst Stimulation, which has been shown to induce synaptic plasticity more efficiently and only takes 3 minutes to deliver.
Based on a planned interim analysis of data comprising 105 participants with Treatment Resistant Depression, results showed that both groups had a similar mean decrease in their depression symptoms of 37.1% (24.3 to 15.0) vs. 37.2% (24.1 to 14.8). There were no tolerability differences between groups. Groups did not differ on either dichotomous out-comes (response/remission rates 42.0%/20.0% vs. 40.7%/18.5%)
(note in the graph groups are referred as “A” and “B” as we are still blinded to treatment condition until the study is completed)
We are all very excited to see that the outcomes for both groups are in keeping with current efficacy rates of rTMS, and that there are no differences between groups so far. If this is the case at the conclusion of the study the implications will be far reaching translating into clinical practice rapidly and increasing access to rTMS to more patients.
-The NINET Lab