Neural correlates of clinical improvement after deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS) for treatment-resistant depression: A case report using functional magnetic resonance imaging Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the effects of a 4-week trial of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS) on depressive and anxious symptoms and brain activity in a patient (Mrs A) with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The protocol involved a pre- and a post-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan during which Mrs A had to perform a working memory task (i.e., n-back). Her baseline score on the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D21) was 24, indicating severe depressive symptoms. Immediately after 4 weeks of daily DTMS treatment applied over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), her HAM-D21 score decreased to 13 (a 46% reduction), and 1 month later, it was 12 (a 50% reduction). Moreover, Mrs A's accuracy scores on the n-back task (i.e., 2-back condition) improved from 79% (baseline) to 96% (after DTMS treatment). At the neural level, Mrs A showed significantly increased brain activity in the working memory network (e.g., DLPFC, parietal cortex) during the execution of the 2-back condition after DTMS treatment compared to baseline.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015