Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 102
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825353

High-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation in schizophrenia

G Hajak 1, P Eichhammer 1, B Langguth 1
  • 1Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Universität Regensburg, Deutschland

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.