Question: Do we have any studies looking at transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during pregnancy as this could be a safe alternative to medication? Is it effective? 

Answer from Marlene Freeman, MD: Dr. Deborah Kim and colleagues completed a preliminary study supporting the efficacy of TMS in pregnancy. In this randomized controlled trial, TMS applied to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), women in the active TMS group showed a greater decrease in depressive symptoms than observed in women receiving sham treatment.


At this time, however, we have few studies and longer term studies supporting the safety and efficacy of TMS during pregnancy.

Here are some other articles on TMS during pregnancy from our website:

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a Treatment for Refractory Depression

Brief Report: TMS for Depression During Pregnancy

Transcranial magnetic stimulation during pregnancy: An alternative to antidepressant treatment?


Kim DR, Wang E, McGeehan B, Snell J, Ewing G, Iannelli C, O’Reardon JP, Sammel MD, Epperson CN. Randomized controlled trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation in pregnant women with major depressive disorder. Brain Stimul. 2019 Jan-Feb; 12(1):96-102. 

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