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Clinical Trial Summary

This study is a single-arm, open-label, feasibility trial for the assessment of the clinical effects of a course of accelerated bilateral sequential theta burst stimulation (TBS) for late life depression (LLD). Over approximately 1 year, 30 outpatients at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) meeting diagnostic criteria for LLD will be recruited and will receive 5 consecutive days (always Monday to Friday) of TBS repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), administered 8 times daily at approximately 1 hour intervals, with continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) applied to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) followed by left DLPFC intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Patients will undergo a series of assessments as well as motor threshold testing to determine the appropriate site and strength of stimulation according to standard methods and then begin treatment.


Clinical Trial Description

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an evidenced based treatment for medically refractory major depressive disorder (MDD). rTMS involves direct stimulation of cortical neurons using externally applied, powerful, focused magnetic field pulses. Dozens of studies and several meta-analyses over the last 15 years have shown that rTMS of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) produces statistically significant improvements in MDD, even when medications have failed. In the most recent generation of randomized controlled trials, rTMS consistently achieves response rates of 50-55% and remission rates of 30-35% in medically refractory MDD patients. rTMS has been shown to be effective and well tolerated for depression in younger and older adults. However, early rTMS studies with older adults were limited by suboptimal stimulation parameters, small sample sizes and insufficient treatment durations. The optimal parameters for rTMS are still in the process of being established, however the most widely-used rTMS protocols apply excitatory, 10 Hz stimulation to the left DLPFC; high frequency left (HFL) or inhibitory, 1 Hz stimulation to the right DLPFC; low frequency right (LFR), or both. Taken together with the reported findings of several other groups, results suggest that accelerated rTMS may be feasible, tolerable, and capable of achieving comparable and potentially better remission rates than longer 20 to 30 day courses. However, all of these studies were small, open-label case series, focused on younger adults. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05119699
Study type Interventional
Source Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Contact Angela Finewax, MSc
Phone 416-535-8501
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 14, 2021
Completion date October 14, 2023

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