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Clinical Trial Summary

Repetitive pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a noninvasive treatment that involves stimulating the brain; however, treatment benefit depends on placing a TMS coil in the correct place on the head to reach critical brain regions below. Clinicians typically use scalp-based targeting, a process in which rather than using MRI guidance to target brain regions for stimulation, they use landmarks on the scalp. Several researchers, including the investigators' lab, showed that the current scalp-based targeting techniques do not position stimulation above the correct brain region, and patients fail to respond. The investigators propose to improve clinical scalp-based targeting by comparing it to MRI guided targeting. The most common clinical population receiving rTMS therapy is depressed patients. The investigators' plan is to study the accuracy of certain scalp-based rules in patients with depression. Accurate brain stimulation targeting is critical for effective rTMS therapy.

Clinical Trial Description

Potential participants are first identified and contact is made. Potential participants are then screened for inclusionary and exclusionary information (see tab 9. Eligibility) that relate to whether they can safely and comfortably perform the procedures and whether they are considered healthy or have the disorder for which brain stimulation therapy will be delivered. They will undergo informed consent that will disclose all the different risks and benefits for the procedures they will undergo. The list of procedures in which participants consent to participate is below. PROCEDURES: The three procedures conducted at VA Palo Alto are as follows: 1. Psychological / functional assessments: Interview, computerized, and paper and pencil measures of psychological functioning. These measures are used to characterize patients' diagnosis and psychological status. For example, depressed patients will answer questions about depressive symptoms and potentially comorbid symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder. This testing typically lasts 2 hours. 2. MRI and functional MRI Patients will undergo an MRI that indicates where they receive stimulation by a marker placed on a cap that displays brightly on an MRI. At Lucas center or the Palo Alto VA and involves brain imaging that will be related to brain stimulation techniques either through facilitating image guidance or providing information that will be correlated to data collected during stimulation. Typically, a session lasts about 2.5 hours since there is setup time involved. 3. Brain Stimulation: TMS-transcranial magnetic stimulation which will be collected at the Palo Alto VA. Part of this procedure may include electromyography (EMG) which involves placing electrodes on the skin, typically the hand, and measuring indicators of muscle contraction. Sometimes this information is used to decide stimulation intensity during TMS and sometimes the TMS induced response will be a source of data in itself. Typically, this is only a measure conducted in parallel with other procedures and thus will not be given its own consent. MRI Guided TMS. An MRI will be used to target a selective brain region. To accomplish this, the MRI will be displayed on a computer screen and an infrared camera enables identification of the correspondence between the image and the participant's head. To study errors in scalp-based targeting, the investigators will perform scalp targeting while under MRI guidance but without the typical visual feedback provided by the MRI. Then this will be compared to scalp targeting with MRI guidance. The difference will identify typical errors in scalp targeting. Typically, a session will last approximately 1.5 hours. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT03851380
Study type Observational
Source VA Office of Research and Development
Contact James Lavacot, BA
Phone (650) 493-5000
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Start date September 30, 2019
Completion date March 31, 2024

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