Introduction Co-occurrence of Major Depressive (MDD) and Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs) is frequent, causing more burden than each disorder separately. Since the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is critically involved in both mood and reward and dysfunctional in both conditions, we aimed to evaluate the effects of dTMS stimulation of bilateral DLPFC with left prevalence in patients with MDD with or without concomitant AUD.
Methods Twelve MDD patients and 11 with concomitant MDD and AUD (MDD+AUD) received 20 dTMS sessions. Clinical status was assessed through the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Clinical Global Impressions severity scale (CGIs), craving through the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) in MDD+AUD, and functioning with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).
Results There were no significant differences between the two groups in sociodemographic (age, sex, years of education and duration of illness) and baseline clinical characteristics, including scores on assessment scales. Per cent drops on HDRS and CGIs scores at the end of the sessions were respectively 62.6% and 78.2% for MDD+AUD, and 55.2% and 67.1% for MDD (p<0.001). HDRS, CGIs and GAF scores remained significantly improved after the 6-month follow-up.
Limitations The small sample size and factors inherent to site and background treatment may have affected results.
Conclusions High frequency bilateral DLPFC dTMS with left preference was well tolerated and effective in patients with MDD, with or without AUD. The antidepressant effect of dTMS is not affected by alcohol abuse in patients with depressive episodes. The potential use of dTMS for mood modulation as an adjunct to treatment in patients with a depressive episode, with or without alcohol abuse, deserves further investigation.
- Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)
- deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health