Predicting Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Response in Depression

Type of project: Translational, Mind and Body and Personalized Medicine

Principal Investigator: Dr. Frank MacMaster

Institutions Affiliated: University of Calgary

Students: Yamile Jasaui Carranza (Masters), Keon Ma (UGRAD)

Awards funded to project: 2

Background: Depression is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that is preferentially treated with antidepressants. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain and has evidence supporting it as an effective treatment option for depression-sometimes. This project uses brain scanning to explore what is special about individuals that respond to rTMS and what that would imply for their diagnosis.

Findings: This project has found distinct brain differences between depressed patients that respond to rTMS and those that don’t.

Implications: This project explores the possibility for biomarkers that would indicate responsiveness to rTMS as a form of personalized medicine. Additionally rTMS is a non-invasive intervention that could operate through natural neural mechanisms to change the disease progression of depression.