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October 12, 2005
rTMS for Schizophrenia shows progress
Read more... Complementary Schizophrenia Treatments
A new presentation reports that repetative transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)which allows for "direct activation of neurons, will play an ever-expanding role in depression and schizophrenia treatment, according to recent reports from Mark S. George, M.D., and Alan L. Schneider, M.D. George, who is distinguished professor of psychiatry, radiology and neurology, and director of the Brain Stimulation Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine" reported "Psychiatric Times"
As we've reported in the past, few studies have evaluated rTMS use for the treatment of schizophrenia. Dr. Schneider stated to Psychiatric Times that he and colleagues are getting close to completion on two double-blind studies investigating adjunctive use of rTMS for the treatment of such negative symptoms as restricted affect, diminished social drive and lack of volition in patients with schizophrenia. In their studies, All patients continue to receive their atypical antipsychotics during treatment.
Results from Current Trials of rTMS:
Currently, George said, large multisite trials are underway or nearing completion. These studies will be a substantial improvement of the literature, George said, because most of the published studies were conducted at single centers with small sample sizes.
In Canada, several rTMS devices have been licensed by Health Canada. George described one study in a Canadian practice setting (Ledsome et al., 2005).
Asked about patients' responses to treatment, Schneider told Psychiatric Times, "Their persistence is very interesting. These are schizophrenic patients who [by definition] are often poorly motivated. Yet our dropout rate is one on NARSAD and one on Stanley to date. It is very unusual in and of itself to get people to come in five days per week. Granted, most of these people are being transported. Nevertheless to get them up and moving at 8 a.m. is a feat."
The patients, Schneider said, report that with the treatment they subjectively feel clearer and that they can think better. He relayed an anecdote in which one patient who was quite negative at the start of the study came in later and told the staff about going to a family wedding and dancing. Another patient who according to Schneider was "one of the most slovenly people" he had ever seen, came in one day clean shaven and relatively well dressed for him. Two patients who were previously unemployed are now employed, and another is applying for work.
Posted by szadmin at October 12, 2005 03:47 PM
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