High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation delays rapid eye movement sleep

Stefan Cohrs, Frithjof Tergau, Sebastian Riech, Sabine Kastner, Walter Paulus, Ulf Ziemann, Eckart Rüther, Göran Hajak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a promising new treatment for patients with major depression. However, the mechanisms underlying the antidepressive action of rTMS are widely unclear. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep has been shown to play an important role in the pathophysiology of depression. In the present study we demonstrate that rTMS delays the first REM sleep epoch on average by 17 min (102.6 ± 22.5 min vs 85.7 ± 18.8 min; p < 0.02) and prolongs the nonREM-REM cycle length (109.1 ± 11.4 min vs 101.8 ± 13.2 min, p < 0.012). These rTMS-induced changes in REM sleep variables correspond to findings observed after pharmacological and electroconvulsive treatment of depression. Therefore, it is likely that the capability of rTMS to affect circadian and ultradian biological rhythms contributes to its antidepressive action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3439-3443
Number of pages5
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 26 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


  • Depression
  • Polysomnography
  • REM sleep
  • Rapid eye movement sleep
  • Repetitive transcranial


Dive into the research topics of 'High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation delays rapid eye movement sleep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this