Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Positive Symptoms in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review
© 2019 S. Karger AG, Basel. Copyright: All rights reserved. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been proposed as a potential treatment add-on for positive symptoms in schizophrenia. To summarize the current evidence for its efficacy, we reviewed clinical trials from the last 20 years that investigated TMS for positive symptoms. We performed a search on the PubMed database for clinical trials that used TMS for the treatment of positive symptoms published in peer-reviewed journals. We excluded reviews, case reports, and opinion papers. Of the 30 studies included, the majority (n = 25) investigated auditory verbal hallucinations. Twelve studies found evidence for a positive treatment effect of TMS on positive symptoms, while 18 did not find enough evidence to conclude that TMS is effective for positive symptoms. However, the small sample size of the majority of studies is a limiting factor for the reliability of previous findings. In conclusion, evidence for an effect of TMS on positive symptoms was mixed. Since most of the studies were performed in patients with auditory verbal hallucinations, further research of TMS for other positive symptoms including thought disorder and delusions is warranted.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health