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High-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation in schizophrenia
Recent studies provide increasing evidence that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may be useful in treating schizophrenia. Most intriguing are results, demonstrating a reduction of negative symptoms following high-frequency rTMS. In this context, disentangling of negative and depressive symptoms is of utmost importance when understanding rTMS effects on schizophrenic symptoms.
Using a sham-controlled parallel-design, 20 patients with schizophrenia were included in the study. Patients were treated with high-frequency 10Hz rTMS over 10 days.
High frequency rTMS lead to a significant reduction of negative symptoms combined with a non-significant trend for improvement of depressive symptoms in the active stimulated group as compared to the sham stimulated group.
Beneficial effects of high-frequency rTMS on negative and depressive symptoms may be due to a selective modulation of dopaminergic mesolimbic and mesostriatal systems as has been postulated in recent studies.