SAN ANTONIO — Poster data presented here at the U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress indicated efficacy of NeuroStar transcranial magnetic stimulation for postpartum depression.
“Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth, occurring in 10% to 15% of women in the postpartum period. Pharmacotherapy is a frequently recommended treatment option, however patient acceptance of psychotropic medication in this setting is limited by maternal concerns regarding infant exposure through breastfeeding,” David G. Brock, MD, of Neuronetics Inc., Malvern, Pennsylvania, and colleagues wrote.
To assess efficacy of NeuroStar transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for postpartum depression, researchers assessed medication-free individuals with unipolar nonpsychotic major depressive disorder with postpartum onset and at least moderate symptom severity. Participants were enrolled within 9 months’ post-childbirth. Treatment consisted of daily left prefrontal TMS for 4 to 8 weeks. Final analysis included 19 participants with a mean age of 29.9 years.
Mean baseline Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score was 20.6, with a mean End of Acute score of 8.2.
Fourteen participants achieved remission by the end of 8 weeks’ of TMS therapy.
Researchers reported no serious adverse events, treatment-emergent mania or suicidal ideation.
“This is another potential treatment for postpartum depression that doesn’t involve a medication that gives a systemic effect and potentially affects the newborn. This is localized, no systemic effect, and over 70% of the patients remitted, which is phenomenal. We hope that this will get people interested in doing more studies so we can replicate the data,” a researcher told Healio.com/Psychiatry. – by Amanda Oldt
Brock D, et al. Effectiveness of NeuroStar transcranial magnetic stimulation in patients with major depressive disorder with postpartum onset. Presented at: U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress; Oct. 21-24, 2016; San Antonio.
Disclosure: Brock and colleagues are employees of Neuronetics, which manufactures NeuroStar TMS.