Publications by authors named "Aleksandra Miljevic"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Accelerated theta burst stimulation for the treatment of depression: A randomised controlled trial.

Brain Stimul 2021 Jul 29;14(5):1095-1105. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health, Epworth Healthcare and Department of Psychiatry, Monash University, Camberwell, Victoria, Australia.

Introduction: Theta burst pattern repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TBS) is increasingly applied to treat depression. TBS's brevity is well-suited to application in accelerated schedules. Sizeable trials of accelerated TBS are lacking; and optimal TBS parameters such as stimulation intensity are not established.

Methods: We conducted a three arm, single blind, randomised, controlled, multi-site trial comparing accelerated bilateral TBS applied at 80 % or 120 % of the resting motor threshold and left unilateral 10 Hz rTMS. 300 patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) were recruited. TBS arms applied 20 bilateral prefrontal TBS sessions over 10 days, while the rTMS arm applied 20 daily sessions of 10 Hz rTMS to the left prefrontal cortex over 4 weeks. Primary outcome was depression treatment response at week 4.

Results: The overall treatment response rate was 43.7 % and the remission rate was 28.2 %. There were no significant differences for response (p = 0.180) or remission (p = 0.316) across the three groups. Response rates between accelerated bilateral TBS applied at sub- and supra-threshold intensities were not significantly different (p = 0.319). Linear mixed model analysis showed a significant effect of time (p < 0.01), but not rTMS type (p = 0.680).

Conclusion: This is the largest accelerated bilateral TBS study to date and provides evidence that it is effective and safe in treating TRD. The accelerated application of TBS was not associated with more rapid antidepressant effects. Bilateral sequential TBS did not have superior antidepressant effect to unilateral 10 Hz rTMS. There was no significant difference in antidepressant efficacy between sub- and supra-threshold accelerated bilateral TBS.
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July 2021

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Meta-analysis of Randomized, Sham-Controlled Trials.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Epworth HealthCare, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, disabling mental health condition with limited treatment options available to date. Numerous randomized controlled trials have explored the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in OCD. This meta-analysis synthesized data from selected randomized controlled trials and examined the impact of different treatment parameters to generate hypotheses that would direct future randomized controlled trials.

Methods: A database search was performed to identify studies published in English up to October 2020. Randomized, sham-controlled studies that used rTMS to treat OCD were included. Effect sizes were calculated using Hedges' g for pre- to post-treatment Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale scores. Subgroup analyses were conducted to assess the effects of variations in rTMS treatment parameters.

Results: A total of 26 studies with 781 participants were included. Overall, rTMS demonstrated a modest effect on reduction of Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale scores (Hedges' g = 0.64, 95% confidence interval = 0.39-0.89; p < .0001). The largest significant effect size was obtained by targeting the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. High- and low-frequency rTMS showed comparable effects. Studies with follow-up data suggested that the effects of active rTMS remain significantly superior to those of sham 4 weeks after treatment.

Conclusions: The therapeutic effects of rTMS are superior to those of sham in the treatment of OCD. Targeting the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was the most favorable approach in administering rTMS. Further research is required to determine the optimal frequency, total pulses per session, and duration of treatment with rTMS for OCD.
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March 2021

Potential predictors of depressive relapse following repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A systematic review.

J Affect Disord 2019 09 4;256:317-323. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Central Clinical School, Monash University, Alfred Hospital, 607 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia; Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health, Epworth HealthCare, 888 Toorak Rd, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is widely approved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). However, around 50% of individuals who recover from depression following rTMS interventions experience a relapse of depressive symptomatology by 12 months. The short-term durability of the rTMS treatment effect has been systematically investigated. However, variables relating to the long-term durability of the antidepressant effect produced by rTMS are less understood. Therefore, the current review systematically assessed the research on variables relating to relapse following rTMS.

Method: This systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. A comprehensive electronic literature search for terms related to relapse following rTMS treatment for MDD was performed on studies published before the end of October 2018.

Results: A total of 18 studies assessing relapse related variables were identified. While there is some indication that comorbid anxiety, acute response, and residual symptomatology may hold predictive potential for depressive relapse following rTMS treatment, findings were not sufficient to draw reliable conclusions.

Discussion: Identified studies assessed three main categories of variables including demographic information, clinical characteristics and rating scale scores, and rTMS treatment specific factors. Only a small number of studies were available, and considerable inconsistency exists between studies, only limited conclusions were able to be drawn.

Conclusion: More studies assessing a wider range of predictor variables such as cognitive or neuroimaging markers are needed.
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September 2019