Nice | Repetative transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression

This is a new guideline from NICE advising that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be used in the treatment of depression. rTMS is only normally considered for patients who have not responded to medication or where medication is not suitable.

It is delivered in 30 min sessions every day for 2-6 weeks as an outpatient. No anaesthetic is needed.

It is difficult from the research to be sure how helpful it is, as you can't easily do sham rTMS. Responses were often small too and were very variable. Despite this, the experts felt that there were generally positive results and no safety concerns and so were happy to recommend its use.

Louise Hudman

I'm a freelance GP locum in Winchester & Southampton.

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