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Behavioral Activation found to benefit during TMS for Major Depressive Disorder

The integration of behavioral activation  therapy (a form of psychotherapy that supports environmental positive reinforcement for individuals through goal setting and the scheduling of positive reinforcement between-session activities) into Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been shown to be a feasible, well-tolerated, and has led to a significant reduction in the symptoms of major depressive disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Six of the eleven outpatients with major depressive disorder who received treatment with behavioral activation therapy +TMS protocol met the study criteria for response following treatment: overall symptom improvement as shown by a ≥50% change in baseline to end point scores on the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms and the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire. Participants also demonstrated a 77% average behavioral activation therapy goal completion rate. The primary study limitation was its inability to compare the behavioral activation therapy +TMS protocol with the efficacy of TMS alone.

Reference: Russo, G, B, Tirrell, E, Busch, A, Carpenter, L L. (2018). Behavioral activation therapy during transcranial magnetic stimulation for major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.108