Up to 35% of Canadians with MS will experience depression symptoms throughout their lifetime.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a safe and non-invasive procedure using magnets to stimulate specific areas of the brain, is emerging as an exciting and effective treatment option for depression. However, the logistics and cost to administer the almost daily treatment sessions in a hospital setting remain one of the most significant barriers to wide-spread adoption.
This project seeks to address this issue by exploring the feasibility of TMS equipment and protocols designed to optimize safety and minimize operating 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 office-based settings for greater accessibility to the patients that need it most. This project also aims to address the rising demand for mental health challenges faced by Canadians.
First funded by Branch Out in 2019 as a Masters student, Dr. Miron's study received renewal funding in 2020. With an additional year of funding, Dr. Miron will be able to complete this pilot study and follow up with a large multi-site randomized control trial.
Already holding an MD as a psychiatrist, Dr. Miron has recently completed his master's program, and his second year of funding will be as a PhD candidate to become a double doctor.
Partners in this project include The Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto and the Krembil Research Institute at the University Health Network.
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