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ABSTRACT. Over the last quarter century, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been researched and applied in clinical practice in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). More than 100 placebo-controlled studies and 20 meta-analyses have shown this treatment to be effective in treatment resistant depression (TRD). This revolutionary modality uses electromagnetism to therapeutically impact brain cortex; it causes few side effects. TMS corrects abnormalities in brain connectivity, and such corrections correlate with changes in mood. TMS is complimentary and not a replacement for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a comprehensive service will provide both techniques. The efficacy of TMS is expected to increase with new stimulation protocols. Currently used as a second line treatment, TMS is likely to become a first line option. Currently, expertise is limited to those working in particular clinics – there is a need/call for training to be more widely available.

Keywords: connectivity; electroconvulsive therapy; major depressive disorder; treatment resistant depression; transcranial magnetic stimulation

How to cite: Pridmore, S., and Pridmore, W. (2021). “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD): The First Quarter Century,” American Journal of Medical Research 8(1): 9–19. doi: 10.22381/ajmr8120211.

Received 2 December 2020 • Received in revised form 8 February 2021
Accepted 10 February 2021 • Available online 25 February 2021

Saxby Pridmore
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Department of Psychiatry,
University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia
(corresponding author)
William Pridmore
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Department of Psychiatry,
Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania, Australia

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