The aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness of ECT in-patients who had failed to respond to a course of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment. Seventeen patients with severe MDD who had not responded to a course of rTMS were switched to receive ECT treatments. All the patients were assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Global Assessment Functioning Scale, the Global Depression Scale, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Response to the treatment was defined as a 50% decrease in HDRS final score and a final GAS higher than 60. Seven out of 17 patients responded to ECT. Three out of 5 non-psychotics and 4 out of 12 psychotic patients responded. ECT seems to be an effective treatment for 40% of patients who failed to respond to rTMS treatment. Whether this is a result of reduced responsiveness to ECT in rTMS-resistant patients or a consequence of small sample size requires further study.
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