Last updated on September 2018

TMS for Symptom Reduction in Schizophrenia


Brief description of study

Neuroimaging studies suggest that aberrant activities at specific brain regions such as sensory areas and language-related areas are related to psychosis symptoms including auditory and visual hallucination, delusion, and thought disorders. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) provides a non-invasive means for altering brain electrical neural activity. TMS has been approved by FDA for treatment of depression. Other applications have not been approved but it has been used in a wide range of clinical research especially in neurology and psychiatry. Among psychotic symptoms, there are preliminary significant improvement in treatments of auditory hallucination using TMS with small samples, but those treatments are not robust in larger samples. The high inter-subject variability limits the efficacy of TMS treatment in schizophrenia patients. We aim to develop a TMS treatment method with a fMRI-defined treatment target area, where the TMS target is individually identified to maximize the TMS effects. The identification method uses both the anatomical character and its functional relationship with auditory hallucination and other psychosis symptoms. If the current target-identification successfully identified effective TMS target individually, the treatment efficacy will be significant improved and more patients will benefit from TMS treatment.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02916810

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