TMS-induced Plasticity Improving Cognitive Control in OCD

  • End date
    Nov 24, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    VU University Medical Center
Updated on 24 January 2021
behavior therapy
transcranial magnetic stimulation
cognitive therapy
brain stimulation


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been shown in several previous clinical trials to be an effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, the neural working mechanisms of rTMS in OCD are unknown, and the optimal stimulation sites have not yet been established. Our study aims to compare the clinical and neurobiological effects of three different rTMS stimulation protocols in OCD patients. 8 weeks of rTMS therapy will be delivered in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy. Multimodal neuroimaging will be carried out before and after treatment in order to demonstrate the neurobiological effects of the therapy.

Condition Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ANXIETY NEUROSIS, Anxiety Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Anxiety Disorders (Pediatric), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD - Pediatric), Anxiety Disorders (Pediatric), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD - Pediatric), Anxiety Disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder
Treatment Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03667807
SponsorVU University Medical Center
Last Modified on24 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

OCD patients
Age between 18 and 65
Primary DSM-5 diagnosis of OCD
Moderate to severe OCD symptoms (expressed as a minimum score of 16 on the Yale - Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS)
Unmedicated or stable dose of medication for at least 12 weeks prior to randomisation
with no plans to change dose during the study period
At least 1 previous attempt at cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in lifetime
At least 1 previous attempt with serotonergic medication or strong preference for non-pharmacological treatment
Capacity to provide informed consent
Healthy controls (baseline measurements only)
Age between 18 and 65
Capacity to provide informed consent

Exclusion Criteria

OCD patients
MRI exclusion criteria (metal in body, pregnancy)
TMS exclusion criteria (metal in body, history of epilepsy)
Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, active suicidal ideation, use of antipsychotics within last 12 weeks
previous experience with rTMS as treatment
Healthy controls
Current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-5 diagnosis
Personal history of DSM-5 diagnosis
use of psychotropic medications within last 12 months
st degree family member with OCD
MRI exclusion criteria (as above)
TMS exclusion criteria (as above)
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