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New TMS data released at 2012 APA annual meeting

May 15, 2012
by News release
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New data released at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association show that patients with unipolar, non-psychotic Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with NeuroStar TMS Therapy achieved significant improvements in both depression symptoms and in quality of life measurements.

Overall, 58% of patients achieved a positive response to NeuroStar TMS therapy, with 37% of patients achieving remission from their depression.

After an average of five weeks of NeuroStar treatment, the%age of patients reporting extreme problems with anxiety and depression decreased by 42.2%, demonstrating a reduction in depression symptomatology. For overall treatment effect, the%age of patients reporting no problems in performing usual activities improved by 30.5%.

"The improvements we observed show that non-drug therapy with NeuroStar TMS not only reduces the symptomatic suffering of patients, but lessens the disability of depression with important implications for these individuals' ability to return to functioning effectively at home, in the workplace, and in the community," said Ian A. Cook, MD, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In the open label study, which involved 307 patients receiving acute treatment with NeuroStar TMS, patients experienced statistically-significant improvement across physical and mental variables as measured by the Short Form 36-Item Questionnaire (SF-36).

The SF-36 is a multi-purpose, short-form health survey that evaluates functional health and well-being of disease among eight variables including physical functioning, role limitations due to physical problems, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems and mental health.

After five weeks of acute TMS therapy, the most drastic improvement was seen in the mental component summary score, which more than doubled from 16.6 prior to therapy to 33.5 after therapy.

Similarly, self-reported quality of life measures significantly improved with TMS therapy compared to baseline according to the EuroQol Questionnaire (EQ-5D), a standardized instrument that was used to evaluate the effect of TMS therapy on the quality of life of patients.

At the end of acute treatment with TMS, the greatest improvements in EQ-5D dimensions were observed among patients who indicated no problems with "usual activities" (14.3% pre-TMS vs. 44.8% post-TMS), "anxiety/depression" (1.6% pre-TMS vs. 30.1% post-TMS) and "pain/discomfort" (39.4% pre-TMS vs. 52.8% post-TMS).

In other EQ-5D dimensions, 81.8% of patients reported no problems with "mobility" following TMS treatment vs. 68.7% at baseline; 87.1% of patients reported no problems with "self-care" following TMS treatment vs. 72.6% at baseline.

"These data reinforce the clinical efficacy of TMS Therapy as a viable option for patients living with major depression who have not achieved or maintained symptom improvement with oral antidepressants," said H. Brent Solvason, MD, Stanford University Medical Center.

"The most meaningful takeaway for patients is that TMS Therapy has the potential to make them feel better, in addition to potentially allowing them to experience a level of physical and social functionality they haven't had with their depression." 

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