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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2015, Article ID 287843, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/287843
Clinical Study

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Address Mild Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Study

1Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory, Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos 785, 05402-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Laboratory of Neuroscience (LIM 27), Department and Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Rua Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos 785, 05402-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Division of Neurological Surgery, Pain Center, Department of Neurology, University of São Paulo, Avenida Dr. Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar 255, Sala 5084, Cerqueira César, 05403-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 14 November 2014; Revised 5 February 2015; Accepted 1 April 2015

Academic Editor: Liana Palermo

Copyright © 2015 Hellen Livia Drumond Marra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive brain stimulation technique with potential to improve memory. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which still lacks a specific therapy, is a clinical syndrome associated with increased risk of dementia. This study aims to assess the effects of high-frequency repetitive TMS (HF rTMS) on everyday memory of the elderly with MCI. We conducted a double-blinded randomized sham-controlled trial using rTMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Thirty-four elderly outpatients meeting Petersen’s MCI criteria were randomly assigned to receive 10 sessions of either active TMS or sham, 10 Hz rTMS at 110% of motor threshold, 2,000 pulses per session. Neuropsychological assessment at baseline, after the last session (10th) and at one-month follow-up, was applied. ANOVA on the primary efficacy measure, the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, revealed a significant group-by-time interaction , favoring the active group. The improvement was kept after one month. Other neuropsychological tests were heterogeneous. rTMS at 10 Hz enhanced everyday memory in elderly with MCI after 10 sessions. These findings suggest that rTMS might be effective as a therapy for MCI and probably a tool to delay deterioration.