Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in treatment-resistant depression: the evidence thus far
  1. Aditya Somani1 and
  2. Sujita Kumar Kar2
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Institute, Chandigarh, India
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sujita Kumar Kar; drsujita{at}


Depression is a common mental disorder, which attributes to significant morbidity, disability and burden of care. A significant number of patients with depression still remain symptomatic after adequate trials of antidepressant treatment as well as psychotherapy, which is often referred to as treatment-resistant depression. Neuromodulation techniques—like electroconvulsive therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation, may be useful augmenting techniques in depression, mostly recommended for treatment-resistant cases. Robust evidence exists regarding the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy in the management of treatment-resistant depression; however, other techniques are understudied. TMS has been increasingly studied in various psychiatric disorders including depression. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in major depressive disorder. Over the past two decades, TMS has been studied in diverse groups of the population with depression using several research designs. This article gives an overview of the efficacy of repetitive TMS in treatment-resistant depression with the recent evidence.

  • treatment-resistant depression
  • neuromodulation
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • therapeutic efficacy

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors Both authors are involved equally in conceptualising, literature review, developing the manuscript and editing the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Reserach can be assessed on PubMed database.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.