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Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) Treatment in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Major Depression in Ongoing Pharmacological Treatment of Depression

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00287703
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 7, 2006
Last Update Posted : May 29, 2009
Information provided by:

Study Description
Brief Summary:
About 30% of patients with major depression are treatment resistant to pharmacological treatment. In the search for new methods to treat depression a great interest has been put into the use of electromagnetic fields. This study tests the hypothesis that ultra-weak electromagnetic fields with a specific wave pattern (PEMF = pulsed electro magnetic fields) can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Device: Pulsating Electro-Magnetic Fields Device: Pulsating Electro-Magnetic Fields sham Phase 3

Detailed Description:
In this study, a patient with treatment resistant depression, as defined by Harold Sackeim, is subjected to 5 weeks of treatment with active or sham PEMF treatment for 30 minutes on every working day. The pharmacological treatment for depression is maintained unaltered throughout the study. Depression severity is measured at the beginning of the study and at each weekly visit. Side effects are closely observed. The ability to concentrate is measured by the AQT test (Alzheimers Quick Test). Personality is assessed by use of the SCID-II-instrument (DSM-IV axis II).

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) Treatment in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Major Depression in Ongoing Pharmacological Treatment of Depression
Study Start Date : March 2006
Primary Completion Date : March 2009
Study Completion Date : March 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Active Pulsating Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) treatment
Device: Pulsating Electro-Magnetic Fields
5 days a week for 5 weeks 30 minutes
Sham Comparator: 2
5 days a week for 5 weeks for 30 minutes Sham PEMF
Device: Pulsating Electro-Magnetic Fields sham
sham PEMF

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score (depression) [ Time Frame: 1 week ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. AQT, measure of concentration [ Time Frame: weekly ]

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Major depression
  • Treatment resistance
  • Age above 18 years
  • Hamilton 17 item score above 13
  • Unaltered pharmacological treatment in last 4 weeks

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Psychotic disorder
  • Mental retardation
  • Suicidality
  • Earlier treatment with PEMF
  • Abuse of alcohol or other substances
  • Patient not able to come to appointed visits
  • Antisocial, borderline or schizotypic personality disorder
  • Women lactating or pregnant
  • Unreliable contraception
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00287703

Speciallægerne Falkoner Allé
Municipality of Frederiksberg, Denmark, 2000
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hillerod Hospital, Denmark
The Lundbeckfoundation
Principal Investigator: Klaus Martiny, MD, Ph.D. Psychiatric Research Unit Fredericksburg General Hospital
More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Klaus Martiny, Psychiatric Research Unit, Hillerod Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00287703     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Final version 26 Oktober 2005
First Posted: February 7, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 29, 2009
Last Verified: May 2009

Keywords provided by Hillerod Hospital, Denmark:
Major depression
Treatment resistant

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders