Background: Craving is a central feature of addiction. Early evidence suggests that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is effective in reducing cue induced craving for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). However, trials in large populations of patients with OUDs are lacking. Methods: We randomly assigned 118 male heroin patients into three groups (i.e., 10 Hz rTMS, 1 Hz rTMS and a wait-list control group) from two addiction rehabilitation centers. rTMS was applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for 20 daily consecutive sessions. Findings: Results showed that 10 Hz rTMS and 1 Hz rTMS were both effective in reducing cue-induced craving scores in heroin users when compared to the wait list group. The treatment effects lasted for up to 60 days after rTMS treatment cessation. Interpretation: Our results suggest that rTMS applied to the DLPFC is effective in reducing craving severity in heroin use disorder patients. Our results also suggest that such treatment effects can last for up to 60 days after treatment cessation.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)