Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): New Tool, New Therapy and New Hope for ADHD

Maria T. Acosta, Fidias E. Leon-Sarmiento


Curr Med Res Opin. 2003;19(2) 

In This Article

Current Therapies

Several pharmacological or non-pharmacological approaches have been considered in treating ADHD, but no important advances have been made since 1937 when Bradley first used stimulants to relieve ADHD symptoms.[21] Today, psychostimulant medications, in particular MPH, are the most commonly prescribed drug for treating ADHD in children and adults, offering clinical benefits in up to 80% of cases.[37,38] It is known that MPH captures the dopamine transporter and is taken up primarily in the striatum of healthy adults,[23] increasing striatal and frontal activation.[30] Although there is a large amount of evidence available on the beneficial effects, safety and prognosis, with short-term stimulant treatment in children with ADHD, many questions remain unanswered. Parents and physicians still have concerns regarding safety issues with the long-term use of stimulants in children as well. Needless to say, new approaches to the treatment of this disease would be welcome.

A multimodal treatment study of children with ADHD[38] concluded that medication alone was superior to medication plus behavioural treatment or routine community care, or if given in combination with any of the latter therapies for ADHD symptoms. These authors concluded that modifications in neurotransmitters carried out through non-conventional pharmacological therapy would be an excellent alternative for treating ADHD.[38] All of these facts, therefore, make room for new therapies, including those with TMS.


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