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Hansbauer, Maximilian; Wobrock, Thomas; Kunze, Birgit; Langguth, Berthold; Landgrebe, Michael; Eichhammer, Peter; Frank, Elmar; Cordes, Joachim; Woelwer, Wolfgang; Winterer, Georg; Gäbel, Wolfgang; Hajak, Goeran; Ohmann, Christian; Verde, Pablo E.; Rietschel, Marcella; Ahmed, Raees; Honer, William G.; Malchow, Berend; Strube, Wolfgang; Schneider-Axmann, Thomas; Falkai, Peter ORCID: 0000-0003-2873-8667; Hasan, Alkomiet (2018): Efficacy of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on PANSS factors in schizophrenia with predominant negative symptoms - Results from an exploratory re-analysis. In: Psychiatry Research, Vol. 263: pp. 22-29
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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied to the left frontal lobe is discussed to be a promising add-on treatment for negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) has been used as outcome parameter in several previous rTMS trials, but studies focusing on PANSS factor analyses are lacking. For this purpose, we used the available PANSS data of the `rTMS for the Treatment of Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia' (RESIS) trial to calculate different literature-based PANSS factors and to re-evaluate the impact of rTMS on negative symptoms in this trial. In an exploratory re -analysis of published data from the RESIS study (Wobrock et al. 2015), we tested the impact of rTMS applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on two PANSS factors for negative symptoms in psychotic disorders as well as on a PANSS five factor consensus model intending to show that active rTMS treatment improves PANSS negative symptom subscores. In accordance to the original analysis, all PANSS factors showed an improvement over time in the active and, to a considerable extent, also in the sham rTMS group. However, comparing the data before and directly after the rTMS intervention, the PANSS excitement factor improved in the active rTMS group significantly more than in the sham group, but this finding did not persist if follow-up data were taken into account. These additional analyses extend the previously reported RESIS trial results showing unspecific improvements in the PANSS positive subscale in the active rTMS group. Our PANSS factor -based approach to investigate the impact of prefrontal rTMS on different negative symptom domains confirmed no overall beneficial effect of the active compared to sham rTMS.