Accelerated TMS for Depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis

A. Irem Sonmez, Deniz Doruk Camsari, Aiswarya L. Nandakumar, Jennifer L.Vande Voort, Simon Kung, Charles P. Lewis, Paul E. Croarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is now widely available for the clinical treatment of depression, but the associated financial and time burdens are problematic for patients. Accelerated TMS (aTMS) protocols address these burdens and attempt to increase the efficiency of standard TMS. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to examine accelerated TMS studies for depressive disorders in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria consisted of studies with full text publications available in English describing more than one session of TMS (repetitive or theta burst stimulation) per day. Studies describing accelerated TMS protocols for conditions other than depression or alternative neuromodulation methods, preclinical studies, and neurophysiology studies regarding transcranial stimulation were excluded. Eighteen articles describing eleven distinct studies (seven publications described overlapping samples) met eligibility criteria. A Hedges’ g effect size and confidence intervals were calculated. The summary analysis of three suitable randomized control trials revealed a cumulative effect size of 0.39 (95% CI 0.005–0.779). A separate analysis including open-label trials and active arms of suitable RCTs revealed a g of 1.27 (95% CI 0.902–1.637). Overall, the meta-analysis suggested that aTMS improves depressive symptom severity. In general, study methodologies were acceptable, but future efforts could enhance sham techniques and blinding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-781
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Accelerated TMS
  • Depression
  • MDD
  • Major depressive disorder
  • TMS
  • TRD
  • Treatment resistant depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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