This 12-week study will evaluate the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic
stimulation (rTMS) of the brain, followed by citalopram (Celexa®), for treatment of
depression associated with small vascular lesions in the brain (vascular depression).
Vascular depression is a condition that typically affects the elderly and is associated with
small vascular lesions. It is more resistant to treatment and has a poorer outcome than
nonvascular depression. By altering excitability in the cortical area of the brain, rTMS may
be an effective treatment neuropsychiatric conditions, particularly depression.
Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to 15 treatments of either rTMS or sham
rTMS for 3 weeks. Following treatment, participants will receive citalopram for 9 weeks.
Response rates to treatment; relapse rates; the size, number, and location of the vascular
lesions; and the amount of regional brain atrophy will be measured. Improvements in
activities of daily living, quality of life, and cognitive function will also be also
- DSM-IV diagnosis of unipolar major or minor depressive disorder
- Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score of at least 18
- Depression that is associated with cerebrovascular disease
- Failed at least 1 treatment for vascular depression