Up to 35% of Canadians with MS will experience depression symptoms over the course of their lifetime. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a safe and non-invasive procedure using magnets to stimulate specific brain areas, is emerging as an exciting and effective treatment option for depression. However, the logistics and cost to administer the nearly daily treatment sessions in a hospital setting remain one of the biggest barriers to wide-spread adoption. Jean-Philippe's project seeks to address this issue by exploring the feasibility of TMS equipment and protocols designed to optimize safety and minimize operation costs. The hope is that this pilot study will provide evidence that TMS can be conducted at a comparable cost to drug-based therapies and administered in simple office-based settings for greater accessibility to the patients that need it most – and help to address the rising demand of mental health challenges faced by Canadians.
Jean-Philippe Miron, PhD Student & MD
Dr. Jonathon Downar
University of TorontoDr. Miron's ResearchGate Profile
First funded by Branch Out in 2019 as a Masters student, Dr. Miron’s study was selected to receive additional funding in 2020. With an additional year of funding, Dr. Miron will complete this pilot study and follow up with a large multi-site randomized control trial. This project's results have been written up as a pre-print that you can check out before it's submitted for publication.
Already holding an MD as a psychiatrist, Dr. Miron has recently completed his master’s program. His second year of funding will be as a PhD candidate to become a double doctor.
Amount Funded: $46,000, in partnership with the Ralph M. Barford Foundation
 Marrie, R. A., Walld, R., Bolton, J. M., Sareen, J., Walker, J. R., Patten, S. B., Singer, A., Lix, L. M., Hitchon, C. A., El-Gabalawy, R., Katz, A., Fisk, J. D., Bernstein, C. N., & CIHR Team in Defining the Burden and Managing the Effects of Psychiatric Comorbidity in Chronic Immunoinflammatory Disease (2017). Estimating annual prevalence of depression and anxiety disorder in multiple sclerosis using administrative data. BMC research notes, 10(1), 619. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-017-2958-1