Last updated on April 2019

Neurostimulation and OCD a MRI Study


Brief description of study

This study will focus on the use of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is a common illness that impairs quality of life and that can be hard to treat.

To precisely analyze the effects of rTMS on OCD, the investigators are going to plan a study comparing cerebral blood flow before and after rTMS treatment. The measuring will occur on the Orbito Frontal Cortex (OFC), whose role in OCD has already been shown by our team (Nauczyciel et al, 2014 in Translational Psychiatry), using Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Arterial Spin Labeling, an MRI method allowing to measure arteriola blood flow.

Our primary outcome is to show a significate difference between cerebral blood flow in OCD between one group of participants treated by rTMS and another one treated by placebo. The study will be double blinded with a placebo rTMS machine, monocentric and prospective, with participants suffering from OCD randomized between two groups.

Detailed Study Description

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) are a frequent and debilitating disease. Impact on daily life is usually important, with a high rate of mood and anxious comorbidities, such as Major Depressive Disorder occurring in half of these participants. The effects can be dramatic, leading to higher suicide rate in this population.

Guidelines for OCD treatment in France recommend the use of Serotonin Specific Recapture Inhibitors (SSRI) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), if possible simultaneously. However, those treatments are responsible for adverse effects for the first and not easily accessible for the second. Consequently, a non-negligible number of participants still suffers from symptoms of OCD with a non-optimal treatment.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), a noninvasive neurostimulation method, has shown its usefulness in the treatment of mental illnesses. It has been authorized by the Food and Drugs Administration in the United States for the treatment of OCD. It represents an alternative method for helping those participants, but pattern of modifications over OCD pathophysiology has still to be unraveled.

In order to precisely analyze the effects of Low Frequency rTMS (LF rTMS) on OCD, the investigators designed a monocentric, prospective, double blind study comparing cerebral blood flow (CBF) before and after a rTMS treatment. Measurements will be performed on the Orbito Frontal Cortex (OFC), whose role in OCD has already been shown by our team (Nauczyciel et al, 2014 in Translational Psychiatry), using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL).

Inclusion criteria will be OCD diagnosis, age between 18 and 65, and the lack of counter indication to MRI and rTMS. Participants will firstly undergo MRI before treatment, along with a psychometric assessment. Participants will then receive a one-week rTMS treatment, with two sessions of fifteen minutes per day. Second MRI and evaluation will be performed 4 weeks after the end of the treatment.

Psychometric assessment will consist of MINI, YBOCS, CGI, MADRS, HAMA, and GAF, administered before and four weeks after treatment. The psychiatrist giving the assessment will be blind to the randomization of the patient, so will be the radiologist performing the MRI.

Our primary outcome is to show a significant difference between CBF in OCD in participants treated by rTMS versus participants treated by sham rTMS. A decrease of the CBF in the OFC is expected, in regards to the inhibitor effects of LF rTMS. This result will allow us to follow objectively the neurobiological effects of rTMS, developing the ability to plan more efficiently rTMS treatment for participants.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03918837

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