Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with cognitive training is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized, double-blind study
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- Rabey, J.M., Dobronevsky, E., Aichenbaum, S. et al. J Neural Transm (2013) 120: 813. doi:10.1007/s00702-012-0902-z
Cortical excitability can be modulated using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Previously, we showed that rTMS combined with cognitive training (rTMS-COG) has positive results in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The goal of this randomized double-blind, controlled study was to examine the safety and efficacy of rTMS-COG in AD. Fifteen AD patients received 1-h daily rTMS-COG or sham treatment (seven treated, eight placebo), five sessions/week for 6 weeks, followed by biweekly sessions for 3 months. The primary outcome was improvement of the cognitive score. The secondary outcome included improvement in the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). There was an improvement in the average ADAS-cog score of 3.76 points after 6 weeks in the treatment group compared to 0.47 in the placebo group and 3.52 points after 4.5 months of treatment, compared to worsening of 0.38 in the placebo (P = 0.04 and P = 0.05, respectively). There was also an improvement in the average CGIC score of 3.57 (after 6 weeks) and 3.67 points (after 4.5 months), compared to 4.25 and 4.29 in the placebo group (mild worsening) (P = 0.05 and P = 0.05, respectively). NPI improved non-significantly. In summary, the NeuroAD system offers a novel, safe and effective therapy for improving cognitive function in AD.