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High-Frequency Repetitive TMS for Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents with Depression


Suicidal Ideation + TMS

Suicide is a leading cause of death in adolescents worldwide, and nearly 10% of adolescents in the United States attempt suicide each year. Beyond prevention programs, risk assessments, crisis intervention, and psychotherapeutic treatments, there are essentially no standard, brain-based interventions for acute suicidal crises or chronic suicidality in adolescents. Since Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has emerged as a leading treatment for adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and suicidal ideation, researchers thought it pertinent to explore this novel treatment for adolescents as well.

About the study

In this study, adolescents with treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation, who had not benefited from psychotherapy, underwent 6 weeks of TMS treatments to the left prefrontal cortex. Suicidality and depression symptom severity were assessed at baseline, after 10 treatments, after 20 treatments, and after 30 treatments.

Preliminary results are promising, with participants showing improvements in suicidal ideation and depressive symptom severity. This study will inform future efforts focused on targeting suicidality in adolescents with TMS treatment.

Read the study