Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that involves a pulsating magnetic field used to stimulate targeted areas of the brain. TMS uses an electromagnetic coil that rests on an individual’s head, and an alternating electric current is passed through the coil. The flow of current causes the coil to emit a pulsating magnetic field, which stimulates the area of brain tissue directly underneath the coil. The induced electric field can cause the firing of neurons within the area of stimulation and activate certain neural circuits involved in emotion. With the ability to accurately target selected areas, TMS can be focused on areas of the brain that are associated with depression and/or other mood disorders. For some people, it has been shown to help treat symptoms of mood disorders.
Currently, it is not understood fully how TMS relieves symptoms of mood disorders. It is thought to work by stimulating neurons in targeted areas of the brain, and specific neural circuits involved in mood regulation. Repeated TMS treatment seems to improve how these brain areas and circuits operate, to help with depressive symptoms in some people. To completely understand TMS’s effect on the brain and how we can increase its efficiency is another reason why more research is needed in this area.
TMS was approved by Health Canada to treat depression in 2002. However, some evidence shows that TMS may also be effective in treating schizophrenia, anxiety, pain disorders, as well as many other related disorders. More research studies investigating TMS can determine which procedure works best, whether there are any unknown long-term effects, and how effective TMS is at treating different disorders. These research studies can increase the use of TMS as a regular treatment therapy.
Psychiatric disorders (such as depression and schizophrenia) are very complex disorders, and sometimes treatments such as medication and talk therapy are not successful for everyone. TMS can be a suitable, safe option for those who do not respond to other treatments.
TMS is a non-invasive procedure, and does not require: surgery, induction of seizures, or any form of an anesthesia. TMS has not been shown to be associated with memory loss.
Common Side Effects:
Common side effects are mild and usually end within the first few sessions of treatment. Side effects may include: headaches, tenderness at site of stimulation, and twitching of facial muscles.
Uncommon Side Effects:
More serious, but rare side effects are seizures. The occurrence of seizures is less than 1/1000.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a very common medical condition. There are many causes and influences, such as: life experiences, genetics, and changes in the way the body and brain function. MDD is often treated with antidepressant medication, however, many patients do not respond to medication treatment. Treatment resistant depression affects about 30-40% of patients and over the past decade; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown to be an effective and a well tolerated alternative approach for those dealing with treatment resistant depression.
In this study, we will be gathering detailed information regarding: your psychiatric history, depression symptoms, range of personality / cognitive capabilities, as well as lifestyle factors. An MRI scan, blood draw, and brain activity measures (neurophysiology) will be given before and after rTMS treatment to determine changes in brain activity. The rTMS treatments for depression will be administered every weekday for 6 weeks.
rTMS is a treatment that involves stimulating certain areas of the brain with magnetic field pulses. Over multiple rTMS sessions, the magnetic field pulses can gradually change the activity level of the stimulated brain region and help symptoms of depression. However, there is no consensus among clinicians as to which method should be used.
This study compares the effectiveness of two different patterns of stimulating multiple brain regions.
Both groups will receive stimulation over one brain region in the first session. In the second session, one group will receive stimulation over one brain region and the other group will receive stimulation over two different brain regions. The total number of stimulations at each brain region will be the same in both groups. Each session will be separated by rest period of approximately one hour.
Since the approval by Health Canada in 2002, there has been a need to investigate whether newer protocols of rTMS can improve efficacy and decrease treatment response time. This is what this study would like to examine and provide insight towards.
The study is being conducted by several different researchers at University Hospitals located across Canada. The primary investigator in Vancouver is Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez, director of the NINET lab at UBC Hospital.
Q: Will my treatment/healthcare records be kept confidential?
A: Your confidentiality will be respected. No information or records that disclose your identity will be published without consent, nor will any of your information or records that disclose your identity be removed or released without your consent, unless required by law.
Q: How much will the treatment cost?
A: Nothing. TMS treatments can cost up to $250 per session, however, when participating in a research study, you will receive treatment for free.
Q: Are there benefits to participating in the study?
A: You may find that your symptoms improve, however this is not guaranteed. Information gathered from this study may help other people undergoing TMS for mood disorders in the future. In general, we hope that the information learnt from this study can be used in the future to benefit other people with depression and related disorders.
The treatments will take place every weekday for the duration of 6 weeks. Every day you will have a 2 sessions of rTMS treatment each about 10 minutes; spaced 1 hours apart. An MRI scan, blood draw, and brain activity measures (neurophysiology) will be given before and after your rTMS treatment course. There will be ongoing monitoring visits to determine the state of your depression symptoms.
Each treatment visit will take place at the Mood Disorders Centre at UBC Hospital.
For more details regarding the study, or to discuss enrolment, please contact us at 604-827-1361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org