Healing of Cognitive Impairment with RTMS in Treatment-Resistant Depression

RTMS ile Tedaviye Dirençli Depresyonda Bilişsel Bozulmanın İyileşmesi

The disorder experienced by a number of individuals with depression is closely associated with the cognitive symptoms of the disorder. Cognitive impairment negatively affects various living spaces of the individual, including job, family life, social life and domestic responsibilities.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation method that is quite promising for healing cognitive symptoms in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) Various neuropsychological studies have shown that there are cognitive deficiencies in various cognitive regions in depression, executive function included. It is known that executive function deficiencies associated with frontal lobe dysfunction are apparent in depressive patients.

Recently, it has been shown that TRD is associated with increased inflammatory process. The inflammatory process has been reported to take part in the pathophysiology of depression. Cytokines can affect cognition in various mechanisms. Recent reports have shown that an increased inflammatory process weakens the functional brain connection that is closely associated with the cognitive dysfunction.

A study analyzed whether the changes in cognitive functions were associated with the changes in inflammatory cytokines prior to and following the rTMS treatment. In the study, a high-frequency rTMS procedure was implemented on patients with TRD.

Depressive symptoms, serum concentration (interleukin (IL) – 1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) and cognitive function of inflammatory cytokines were measured before and after the rTMS treatment. The rTMS treatment substantially healed the depressive symptom scores and some cognitive dysfunction sub-scales.

This study showed that any partial changes in cognitive function are significantly correlated with the changes in IL-1β. The partial healing of the cognitive disorder through rTMS in this study can be attributed to the reduction of the peripheral IL-1 P levels.

(For more detailed information, please read our article titled “Everything About Depression”).

– Tateishi, H., Mizoguchi, Y., Kawaguchi, A., Imamura, Y., Matsushima, J., Kunitake, H., … Monji, A. (2020). Changes in interleukin-1 beta induced by rTMS are significantly correlated with partial improvement of cognitive dysfunction in treatment-resistant depression: a pilot study. Psychiatry Research, 289, 112995. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112995

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan