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SGC Hyperactivity in Patients with MDD After rTMS Treatment

Subgenual cingulate cortex (SGC) hyperactivity is a central construct in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD), a new study found. Researchers evaluated SGC hyperactivity in patients with MDD before and after repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment. SGC activity of patients with MDD was compared with healthy controls. Among the findings:

  • Of 121 patients with MDD in the initial trial, 30 were compared with 30 healthy controls at rTMS treatment baseline.
  • Using transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography, SGC activity in patients with MDD was significantly higher compared with healthy controls.
  • After active rTMS, SGC hyperactivity in patients with MDD was attenuated toward the levels of healthy controls.


Hadas I, et al. Association of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment with subgenual cingulate hyperactivity in patients with major depressive disorder: A secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print June 5, 2019]. JAMA Netw Open. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.5578.