Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation add-on for the treatment of auditory hallucinations: adouble-blind study

Journal: Annals of General Psychiatry 11:13 (2012)

Authors: O Rosenberg, R Gersner, L Dinur-Klein, M Kotler, A Zangen, P Dannon


About 25% of schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations are refractory to pharmacotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy. This group of investigators conducted a deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) pilot study in order to evaluate the potential clinical benefit of repeated left temporoparietal cortex stimulation in these patients and the results were encouraging.


This sham-controlled study was conducted in order was to rule out a placebo effect explanation forthe previously demonstrated effect of deep TMSover the temporoparietal cortexon auditory hallucinations.


A total of 18 schizophrenic patients with refractory auditory hallucinations were recruited, from Beer Yaakov MHC and other hospitals outpatient populations. Patients received 10 daily treatment sessions with low-frequency (1 Hz for 10 min) deep TMS applied over the left temporoparietal cortex, using the H1 coil at the intensity of 110% of the motor threshold. Procedure was either real or sham according to patient randomization.Patients were evaluated via the Auditory Hallucinations Rating Scale, Scale forthe Assessment of Positive Symptoms-Negative Symptoms, Clinical Global Impressions, and Quality of Life Questionnaire.


This preliminary study demonstrated a significant improvement in AHRS score (an average reduction of 31.7% ± 32.2%) and to a lesser extent improvement in SAPS results (an average reduction of 16.5% ± 20.3%).


This studydemonstratedthe potential of deep TMS treatment over the temporoparietalcortex as an add-on treatment for chronic auditory hallucinations in schizophrenic patients. Larger samples in adouble-blind sham-controlleddesign are now being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of deep TMStreatment for auditory hallucinations.

Read full article