A Pilot Clinical Trial of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Mild Cognitive Impairment

Sara Esmaeili, Mohammad Hossein Abbasi, Ensieh Malekdar, Mohammad Taghi Joghataei, Masoud Mehrpour


Background: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is defined as a progressive memory dysfunction. There are controversies with regards to whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could improve the condition.

Methods: In a randomized, self-control, crossover clinical trial, effect of rTMS on cognitive performance in patients with MCI was assessed. Patients were randomized into two study groups (A and B) and received both rTMS procedure and sham therapy in sequence, with each lasting for 8 weeks. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) test was performed as a cognition battery at baseline and 1 week after each 8-week period of interventions.

Results: Sixteen patients were enrolled in the study. Baseline measures of MoCA were statistically equal between two groups (P value = 0.10). Mean MoCA score significantly increased in group A at nine-week follow-up compared to both group B (P value < 0.001) and its baseline (P value = 0.01). However, at 18-week follow-up, mean MoCA scores were increased in both groups compared to their baseline (both P values < 0.001) with no significant differences between study groups (P value = 0.87). No adverse effects were reported.

Conclusions: The rTMS is suggested as an effective and safe therapeutic option for cognitive improvement in patients with MCI.

J Neurol Res. 2020;10(5):188-192
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr622


Mild cognitive impairment; Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS; MoCA

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