The Journal of ECT

Skip Navigation LinksHome > June 2012 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 > Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the Treatment of...
Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e31824532c8
Original Studies

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Pilot Study

Weaver, Laurel MD, PhD; Rostain, Anthony L. MD, MA; Mace, William PhD; Akhtar, Umair MD; Moss, Edward PhD; O’Reardon, John P. MD

Collapse Box


Objective: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses a medical device that applies magnetic pulses noninvasively to the cortex of the brain to depolarize neurons. We tested its safety and efficacy in young persons with a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Methods: Transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied to the right prefrontal cortex at 10 Hz, at 100% of the observed motor threshold, for 2000 pulses per session, in a 10-session course over 2 weeks in a sham-controlled crossover design (n = 9). There was 1 week of no TMS between the active and sham phases. Safety of TMS was assessed by means of serial audiometry, neuropsychological testing, and electroencephalogram (EEG) at baseline, midpoint, and end point of the study. Efficacy was assessed as a primary outcome by changes in the Clinical Global Impression—Improvement (CGI-I) scale and secondarily by change in the ADHD-IV scale.

Results: Transcranial magnetic stimulation was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events and no discontinuations due to adverse effects. All randomized subjects completed the full course of sessions. There were no significant changes in auditory thresholds or in electroencephalographic assessments. Neuropsychological testing showed no significant differences between active and sham groups. There was an overall significant improvement in the clinical global impression of improvement and the ADHD-IV scales across the study phases (active and sham TMS combined; P < 0.01), but the change between active and sham TMS phases did not differ.

Conclusion: Transcranial magnetic stimulation was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events observed in this pilot study. Improvement in symptoms was observed across the combined phases of the study, although there was no difference between the active and sham forms of TMS. Effects of clinical importance should be further assessed in larger controlled studies.

© 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.