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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Effect of Low Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Depression and Cognition of Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Si A. Lee, Myoung-Kwon Kim

Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School, Daegu University, Jillyang, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8789-8794

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.911385

Available online:

Published: 2018-12-04


BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on depression and cognition in patients with traumatic brain injury.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: To accomplish this, 13 patients who were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury were divided into an experimental group (n=7) and a control group (n=6). The experimental group received rTMS during a 30-minute session 5 days per week for 2 weeks; the control group received sham rTMS. The patients were then evaluated for depression using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and for cognitive function using the Trail Making Test (TMT) and the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT).
RESULTS: A significant decrease in MADRS, TMT, and SCWT was observed after the intervention in the experimental group (P<0.01), and there was a significant difference in the change value of MADRS, TMT, and SCWT compared to the control group (P<0.01). Moreover, the effect size for gains in the experimental group and control group was very strong for MADRS, TMT, and SCWT (effect size=1.44, 1.49, and 1.24 respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that application of low frequency rTMS to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of patients with traumatic brain injury has a positive effect on depression and cognition.

Keywords: Brain Injuries, Cognition, Depression, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation