© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York
The Tolerability of rTMS Treatment in Schizophrenia with Respect to Cognitive Function
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.
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J. Cordes, MD
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf
Bergische Landstraße 2
Phone: +49/(0)211/922 3402
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