New data to be presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association
An unfortunate fact facing mothers in the U.S. is that postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of women who give birth each year – or roughly 600,000 women – experience postpartum depression symptoms. Typically, pharmacotherapy is the recommended option to treat symptoms; however, the level of acceptance among new mothers willing to take antidepressants during the postpartum period is limited by maternal concerns, in particular, infant exposure through breastfeeding.
In evaluating an alternative, non-drug solution for these mothers, Neuronetics, Inc. presented positive results today from its study, “Effectiveness of NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder with Postpartum Onset,” at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2016 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia,. Study results demonstrated that for patients treated with NeuroStar TMS Therapy, 73.7 percent achieved remission of their depressive symptoms.
“Postpartum depression is a harsh reality that, sadly, many women face after giving birth,” said David Brock, MD, Medical Director of Neuronetics, Inc. “Current treatment options present significant clinical and practical dilemmas for the patient and their clinician. The positive results from this study expand the evidence of potentially useful new approaches and suggest that NeuroStar TMS Therapy may provide a therapeutic option to mothers experiencing postpartum depression without the use of antidepressant medication.”
In the study, 19 medication-free outpatients with unipolar non-psychotic MDD with postpartum onset, were enrolled. These patients had moderate to severe symptom severity with an onset of MDD symptoms during the third trimester through six months following live childbirth, and they were enrolled within nine months after childbirth. The patients received open label treatment with NeuroStar TMS Therapy for four to eight weeks, until remission of symptoms. The study’s primary outcome of interest was the change in depressive symptoms using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), with patient-reported remission on the EPDS as a major secondary outcome measurement. The EPDS mean baseline score was 20.6 with a mean acute treatment score of 8.2 by the end of the study. Overall, 14 out of the 19 patients (73.7 percent) achieved remission of symptoms during acute treatment. There were no serious adverse events, treatment emergent mania or suicidal ideation reported.