Background: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive brain
stimulation technique that is being actively explored as a potential therapeutic modality in various neuropsychiatric
disorders, such as depression, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and neurodegenerative
disorders, including the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approved rTMS for the treatment of major depression, migraine-associated headaches,
and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The fact that a significant proportion of patients
suffering from these disorders fail to respond to current pharmacological interventions indicates the
need for alternative therapies like rTMS.
Objective: The objective was to find and summarize all studies combining the use of rTMS and pharmacological
interference in vitro, in order to facilitate future studies.
Methods: The results of studies combining the use of rTMS with pharmacological interference in vitro
were focused on. The PubMed database was searched using the terms “rTMS”, “repetitive”, “transcranial”,
“magnetic”, “stimulation”, “in vitro”, “in vivo”, “cell cultures” untilMarch 2019 and 7 eligible
studies were found.
Results: Overall results show a synergistic effect of rTMS and pharmacotherapy in vitro with additive
effectiveness, better prognosis, and superior potential management.
Conclusion: The limited amount of knowledge denotes the need for additional in vitro studies on the
combination of rTMS and pharmacotherapy, which could be extended to in vivo studies and ultimately
help design clinical trials so as to improve the therapeutic management of patients with a wide array of