Bilateral sequential theta burst stimulation in depressed veterans with service related posttraumatic stress disorder: a feasibility study
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Background: Depression comorbid with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be disabling and treatment resistant. Preliminary evidence suggests that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), may have a role in helping these patients. There are only few published studies using different rTMS paradigms including bilateral intermittent theta burst (iTBS) and low frequency rTMS. Methods: In this small cohort observation study, we examined the efficacy of bilateral sequential theta-burst stimulation (bsTBS) in 8 treatment resistant depression (TRD) military veterans with PTSD comorbidity stemming from military service experience. Results: bsTBS was generally well tolerated and resulted in 25% and 38% remission and response rates on Depression scores respectively; 25% remission and response rate on PTSD scores. Discussion: This study demonstrates preliminary feasibility and safety of bsTBS in TRD with comorbid military service related PTSD. We concluded that this paradigm might hold promise as a therapeutic tool to help patients with TRD co-morbid with military service related PTSD. Further adequately powered studies to compare rTMS treatment paradigms in this patient group are warranted.