Table 1

Inclusion and exclusion criteria 

Inclusion criteria
  • First-time ischaemic stroke with clinical and MRI or CT findings of basal ganglia ischaemic stroke and a DSM-IV diagnosis of depression due to stroke (ICD-10-CM code 293.83[F06.32])

  • Age 25–75 years with a recent (from 3 weeks to 3 months) ischaemic stroke

  • Clear signs of neurological deficits in the acute phase

  • Clear consciousness

  • Right-handedness

Exclusion criteria
  • Aphasia or severe cognitive impairment, severe hearing impairment, or severe language comprehension deficits due to other causes

  • Other cerebral diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, encephalitis, dementia, multiple sclerosis, head injury

  • Severe systemic disease or ongoing neoplasia

  • Ongoing postoperative recovery

  • Prior history of depressive disorders or major trauma within 1 year, severe depression or any other severe mental disorders

  • Current or prior antidepressant use for any reason

  • Addiction to drugs, alcohol or other substances

  • Contraindications of MRI scan and rTMS treatment such as pacemaker implantation, a history of epilepsy, major head trauma and seizures

  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women

  • Participation in other clinical research projects

  • Refusal to sign the informed consent of this study