Pharmacopsychiatry 2010; 43(3): 110-117
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242824
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Tolerability of rTMS Treatment in Schizophrenia with Respect to Cognitive Function

M. Mittrach1 , J. Thünker1 , G. Winterer3 , M. W. Agelink2 , G. Regenbrecht1 , M. Arends1 , A. Mobascher1 , S.-J. Kim1 , W. Wölwer1 , J. Brinkmeyer1 , W. Gaebel1 , J. Cordes1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, Herford, Germany
  • 3Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

received 17.10.2008 revised 28.09.2009

accepted 06.10.2009

Publication Date:
02 February 2010 (eFirst)


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess tolerability and safety of high-frequency rTMS with regard to cognitive performance when conducted as “add-on” treatment in chronic schizophrenia in-patients (n=32).

Methods: Patients, who were on stable antipsychotic treatment, were randomly assigned to verum or sham condition (double-blind). In the verum group, ten sessions of 10 Hz rTMS with a total of 10 000 stimuli were applied over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) at 110% of motor threshold over a period of two weeks. The sham group received corresponding sham stimulation. RTMS effects on cognitive performance were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery consisting of the following tests: trail making test A and B (TMT), Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), D2 attention task and the “short test of general intelligence” (KAI).

Results: No statistically significant deterioration of cognitive performance was observed as a result of rTMS treatment. Moreover it was shown that in the verum group patients with a less favourable performance on the WCST at baseline tend to improve after rTMS treatment with regard to psychopathology as opposed to patients in the control group.

Discussion: The stability of cognitive function suggests good tolerability of rTMS treatment in schizophrenia. The absence of evidence for cognitive deterioration could be due to low and short stimulation parameters.



J. Cordes, MD 

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf

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