Objective: There is a paucity of information about repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment for adolescent depression, and there are no data about its long-term effectiveness and safety in this age group. The aim of this study was to evaluate symptoms of depression and cognitive functioning in young people who had been treated 3 years previously with rTMS for resistant depression.
Methods: Eight of 9 subjects who had participated in an open-label rTMS study were reassessed using the Child and Adolescent Depression Rating Scale—Revised and the Beck Depression Inventory II. Six of the subjects were also cognitively reassessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. The follow-up assessments were compared with the earlier pretreatment, inter-treatment and posttreatment assessments.
Results: At 3-year follow-up, there was no evidence of deterioration in symptoms of depression or cognitive functioning compared to the last assessment after rTMS.
Conclusion: Preliminary evidence suggests that rTMS treatment of resistant depression in adolescents is not associated with long-term cognitive deterioration and that posttherapy clinical improvement can be maintained. It seems that some subjects may derive long-term benefit from the rTMS course.