Professor Leon Grunhaus writes:
At the Sheba Medical Center, we have started a program in rTMS with Magstim Rapid equipment we purchased thorugh a Senior Investigators' Award I received from NARSAD.
We have finished a project in rats looking at seizure inhibition with chronic rTMS, finding that by day 16 rats treated with rTMS convulse significantly less than sham treated rats. Interestingly, no rat demonstrated sponatneous seizures. Five days after the end of the rTMS course the seizure inhibition effects had dissapeared. I am writing this paper for publication.
We have also started a rTMS/ECT comparison project. Patients refered for ECT by clinicians are randomly assigned to either rTMS or ECT groups. We are performing rTMS as suggested by Pascual-Leone in his Lancet paper, however we are extending the rTMS stimulation period to 4 weeks. So far we have done 4 patients. Two of them recovered significantly but had a recurrence of symptoms within one week. They responded rapidly to medication without further treatment. Two other patients did not respond. These are very ill patients whose HDRS scores at baseline were above 30.