NICE interventional procedure guidance
Issued: November 2007

Transcranial magnetic stimulation for severe depression

This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at

1 Guidance

1.1 Current evidence suggests that there are no major safety concerns associated with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for severe depression. There is uncertainty about the procedure's clinical efficacy, which may depend on higher intensity, greater frequency, bilateral application and/or longer treatment durations than have appeared in the evidence to date. TMS should therefore be performed only in research studies designed to investigate these factors.

1.2 Future research should aim to address patient selection criteria, the optimal use of this procedure in relation to other treatments, and the duration of any treatment effect. Clinicians should collaborate to ensure that studies are sufficiently large to be adequately powered. The Institute may review the procedure upon publication of further evidence.