Abstract

Objective: This study aims to investigate possible improvements in the neurocognitive performance in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) following the clinical dose of low-frequency, rTMS when administered to the RDLPFC and SMA. Because depression is often associated with neurocognitive deficits, this information will help provide additional support for the benefits of rTMS. Method: Participants consisted of 10 patients with TRD who received rTMS to the RDLPFC (1200 pulses @ 1Hz, 110% of motor threshold (MT)) and SMA (1200 pulses @ 1Hz, 100% MT) for 10 sessions. Each subject completed CNS Vital Signs before beginning rTMS and after 10 sessions (2 weeks). The sample was 50% male, 100% Caucasian, and of a mean age of 48.5 years (SD = 9.58). All participants had obtained a High School diploma, with more than 70% having at least an Associates Degree. Results: From baseline to two weeks, significant improvements were found for both depressive, F(1, 9) = 17.17, p = .003, η2 = .656, and anxious, F(1, 9) = 26.89, p = .001, η2 = .749, symptoms. When controlling for mood changes, significant improvement in executive functioning were also observed, F(1, 7) = 12.26, p = .010, η2 = .637. Significant differences did not exist for measures of complex attention or cognitive flexibility (p's > .718). Conclusion(s): Results support the efficacy of rTMS to improve mood symptoms associated with TRD and suggest that the clinical dose of rTMS applied to the RDLPFC and SMA here can make relatively quick (2 weeks) improvements to executive function abilities.