Time to remission analysis for major depressive disorder after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)

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Ann M. Manzardo
Brianna Ely
Maria Cristina Davila
(*) Corresponding Author:


We previously examined the efficacy of rTMS for major depressive disorder in an applied clinical practice. Clinical response was related to severity of depression as well as the rTMS instrument utilized suggesting a relationship to instrument or magnetic field parameters and individual factors. The effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the treatment of major depressive disorder was further evaluated using Log-Rank statistics for time to remission outcomes. A follow-up retrospective medical records study was carried out on patients with major depressive disorder undergoing rTMS therapy at AwakeningsKC Clinical Neuroscience Institute (CNI), a suburban tertiary psychiatric clinic. Cox Proportional Hazard with Log-Rank statistics were applied and the time course to clinical remission was evaluated over a 6-week period with respect to age, gender, and depression severity. Clinical response was observed referencing two different rTMS instruments (MagVenture; NeuroStar). Time to remission studies of 247 case reports (N=98 males; N=149 females) showed consistently greater clinically defined remission rates after 6 weeks of rTMS treatment for patients using the MagVenture vs NeuroStar instrument. Patients previously admitted for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization exhibited higher response rates when treated with the MagVenture rTMS unit. Stepwise Cox Proportional Hazards Regression final model of time to remission included rTMS unit, inpatient psychiatric hospitalization and obese body habitus. Response to rTMS in applied clinical practice is related to severity of psychiatric illness and may require consideration of magnetic field parameters of the rTMS unit with respect to individual factors such as sex or body composition.

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