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TMS Improves Memory in Schizophrenia

Deborah Brauser | Mar 19, 2013
Medscape Medical News © 2013 WebMD, LLC
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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may improve impaired cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia, a new pilot study suggests.

The small, randomized controlled trial of 27 adults with schizophrenia showed that those who underwent rTMS, targeted bilaterally to the left and right dorsolated prefrontal cortex, for 4 weeks had greater improvement in scores on working memory tasks than those who underwent a sham procedure.

In addition, the improved performance scores were found to be comparable to those of a group of healthy volunteers.

We demonstrate that bilateral 20-Hz rTMS…significantly improved working memory compared with sham. Specifically, rTMS selectively improved response accuracy.”

-Principal investigator Zafiris J. Daskalakis, MD, PhD, from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues.

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The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation, the Grant Family through the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, and by a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship. The study authors have reported several relevant financial relationships, which are fully listed in the original article.

Biol Psychiatry. 2013;73:510-517. Abstract