• Comparison of clinical outcomes with left unilateral and sequential bilateral Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment of major depressive disorder in a large patient registry.

      Aaronson, Scott T; Carpenter, Linda L; Hutton, Todd M; Kraus, Stacia; Mina, Miriam; Pages, Kenneth; Shi, Luoxi; West, W Scott; Sackeim, Harold A (Elsevier, 2022-01-21)
      Background: It has been suggested that sequential bilateral (SBL) TMS, combining high frequency, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) stimulation and low frequency, right DLPFC stimulation, is more effective than unilateral TMS. Objective: To contrast treatment outcomes of left unilateral (LUL) and SBL protocols. Methods: Registry data were collected at 111 practice sites. Of 10,099 patients, 3,871 comprised a modified intent-to-treat (mITT) sample, defined as a primary MDD diagnosis, age ≥18, and PHQ-9 completion before TMS and at least one PHQ-9 assessment after baseline. The mITT sample received high frequency (10 Hz) LUL TMS exclusively (N = 3,327) or SBL TMS in at least 90% of sessions (N = 544). Completers (N = 3,049) were responders or had received ≥20 sessions and had an end of acute treatment PHQ-9 assessment. To control for site effects, a Matched sample (N = 653) included Completers at sites that used both protocols. To control for selection bias, the SBL group was also compared to a Restricted LUL group, drawn from sites where no patient switched to SBL after substantial exposure to LUL TMS. Secondary analyses were conducted on CGI-S ratings. Results: The LUL group had superior outcomes compared to the SBL group for multiple PHQ-9 and CGI-S continuous and categorical measures in the mITT, Completer and Matched samples, including in the specified primary analyses. However, outcome differences were not observed when comparing the Restricted LUL and SBL groups. Within SBL protocols, the LUL-RUL order had superior outcomes compared to the RUL-LUL order in all CGI-S, but not PHQ-9, measures. Conclusions: While limited by the naturalistic design, there was no evidence that SBL TMS was superior to LUL TMS. The sequential order of RUL TMS followed by LUL TMS may have reduced efficacy compared to LUL TMS followed by RUL TMS.
    • Comparison of clinical outcomes with two Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment protocols for major depressive disorder

      Carpenter, LindaL; Aaronson, ScottT; Hutton, Todd M; Mina, Miriam; Pages, Kenneth; Verdoliva, Sarah; West, W Scott; Sackeim, HaroldA (Elsevier Inc., 2020-12-17)
      Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). The rest time between pulse trains is the inter-train interval (ITI). Since 2016, some TMS clinicians have adopted a stimulation protocol with shorter ITIs than were used in regulatory clinical trials. Objective: To contrast treatment outcomes with the Standard TMS protocol (38.5 min per session) and the “Dash” protocol, which, at the shortest ITI, has a session duration of 18.75 min. Methods: Registry data were collected at 103 practice sites. Of 7759 participants, 5010 were included in an intent-to-treat (ITT) sample, defined as a primary MDD diagnosis, age ≥ 18, and completion of the PHQ-9 before TMS and with at least one PHQ-9 assessment after baseline. Completers (N = 3814) were responders or had received ≥ 20 sessions and had an end of acute treatment PHQ-9 assessment. Within the ITT sample, 613 patients were treated with the Standard NeuroStar 38-min protocol and 1493 patients with the new Dash protocol. CGI-S ratings were obtained in smaller samples. Treatment outcomes were also examined in subgroups considered Completers, as well as the subgroups who met criteria for Full Adherence to the Standard or Dash protocol parameters. Results: In the ITT, Completer, and Fully Adherent samples, response (58–72%) and remission (28–53%) rates were notably high across PHQ-9 and CGI-S ratings. The Standard and Dash protocols did not differ in number of treatment sessions, and both manifested strong antidepressant effects. Conclusions: The Standard and Dash protocols did not meaningfully differ in efficacy.