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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 59 (2017) 10, 617 - 625

Short report

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in obsessive compulsive disorder: a systematic review

A.M. Euser, A.F. Stapert, M. Oosterhoff, I.D.C. van Balkom, M. Figee

background Ten per cent of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (ocd) are resistant to treatment. For these patients, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rtms) may be an alternative form of treatment.
aim To clarify the effect and clinical application of rtms for treatment-resistant ocd.
method We searched the literature systematically and we discuss the relevant articles critically.
results We included 17 randomised controlled trials (rcts) with 502 patients. The reported trials were small and heterogeneous. A small but consistent treatment effect was found for rtms (mean decrease y-bocs score 6.6 points) compared to placebo stimulation (mean decrease y-bocs score 2.4 points). However, the differences between the effects of rtms and the effects of placebo were often not statistically or clinically significant. The effect frequently disappeared within several weeks after ending rtms and the follow-up period was never longer than three months.
conclusion rtms is still not entirely suitable for inclusion in the regular treatment of resistant ocd. More information is needed about follow-up requirements and about the advisable length and intensity of the applied stimulation. Future developments may involve increasing the number of stimulation sessions, combining these with cognitive behavioral therapy and delivering a more personalised form of rtms.

keywords ocd, review