Modulating Anxious Coping

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Medical University of South Carolina
Updated on 23 July 2021


This is a study to find out if a device that temporarily alters brain activity (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, rTMS) might be used to change how people with anxiety or related concerns cope with feared or anxiety-producing situations. The study is recruiting people who recently started treatment for anxiety or a related concern. The study involves 3 visits to the Medical University of South Carolina. At the first visit, participants do interviews and surveys asking about anxiety and related concerns, and they also do tasks where they see and react to emotional pictures while their brain activation is measured. At the next two visits, participants receive rTMS, which works by rapidly turning a focused magnetic field on and off repeatedly over the head in a way that passes directly through the hair, scalp, and skull and onto the brain and can temporarily increase brain activity under the magnetic field. After rTMS, participants do two tasks where they see and react to emotional situations while wearing sensors on their hand, arms, face, and head.

Each visit in this study is expected to last between 2 - 4 hours. This is not a treatment study, but the study is being conducted with the hope that it will help improve treatment in the future.

Condition ANXIETY NEUROSIS, Anxiety Disorders, anxiety disorder
Treatment Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04824105
SponsorMedical University of South Carolina
Last Modified on23 July 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

- 65 y.o
Meets criteria for an anxiety disorder (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia), posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessivecompulsive disorder, or current adjustment disorder with anxiety
Is currently seeking mental health treatment
Is able to read consent document and provide informed consent
English is a first or primary fluent language

Exclusion Criteria

Current alcohol or substance use disorder of more than mild severity (as defined by DSM-5 and determined using standardized self-report instruments)
Lifetime diagnosis of psychotic disorder or bipolar mania
Presence of neurological disorder that contraindicates TMS or neurophysiological recording: Seizure disorder Lifetime history of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness Neurodegenerative disorder (e.g., Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia)
Presence of other medical disorder that would make it too uncomfortable to sit or lie still for long recording periods
Presence of standard contraindications for MRI or rTMS Metal in the body Currently pregnant Claustrophobia Significant sensitivity to noise Medical conditions or treatments that lower seizure threshold History of severe brain injury History of seizures/ epilepsy
Currently taking anticholinergic mediation, neuroleptic medication, or sedative/ hypnotic medication Note: SSRI, cholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA receptor antagonists are allowed if patient has been on a stable regimen of four weeks prior to enrollment
Currently taking chronic opiate medications or substances
Currently taking naltrexone
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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