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TMS Effectiveness for Depression: Age Not a Factor

J Affect Disord; ePub 2017 Mar 29; Conelea, et al

Effectiveness of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is not differentially modified by age, a recent study found. Based on these naturalistic data, age alone should not be considered a contraindication or poor prognostic indicator of the antidepressant efficacy of TMS. Data were retrospectively collected and pooled for adults with TRD (n=231; n=75 aged ≥60 years and n= 156 <60 years) who underwent an acute course of outpatient TMS therapy at 2 outpatient clinics. Self-report depression scales were administered at baseline and end of acute treatment. Change on continuous measures and categorical outcomes were compared across older vs younger patients. Researchers found:

  • Both age groups showed significant improvements in depression symptoms.
  • Response and remission rates did not differ between groups.
  • Age group was not a significant predictor of change in depression severity, nor of clinical response or remission, in a model controlling for other predictors.


Conelea CA, Philip NS, Yip AG, et al. Transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: Naturalistic treatment outcomes for younger versus older patients. [Published online ahead of print March 29, 2017]. J Affect Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.063.