Individualized Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Auditory Verbal Hallucinations
The Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a type of brain stimulation that uses a magnet to change activity in the brain. rTMS uses magnetic pulses to induce an electrical current in the brain to alter brain activity and function in specific areas. For example, stimulating the part of the brain controlling movement will cause parts of the foot or leg to twitch. TMS is proposed as a novel treatment for people with schizophrenia. The investigators want to see if low frequency rTMS can lessen some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, specifically auditory verbal hallucinations. Auditory verbal hallucinations describe the experience of hearing voices that are not really there.
|Condition or Disease||Intervention/Treatment||Phase|
The large majority of patients with schizophrenia (Sz) experience auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) as a core feature of their disorder. Treatment-resistant auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) affect a third of patients with schizophrenia and can cause increased aggression, distress, suicide, and social dysfunction. The current standard of care is antipsychotic medication which can cause metabolic syndrome, sedation, orthostatic hypotension, extrapyramidal symptoms, and tardive dyskinesia among other adverse effects. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) emits a rapidly changing magnetic field over the scalp which induces current flow in underling brain tissue, either enhancing or disrupting function depending on the frequency of stimulation. It is generally well tolerated and repetitive TMS (rTMS) is currently FDA approved for treatment of depression. rTMS carries potential as an alternative treatment for schizophrenia patients with AVH who either do not respond to or do not tolerate medication. Inhibitory (1-Hz) standard TMS approaches, which use scalp-based targeting of speech perception areas such as left temperoparietal junction (TPJ) have yielded mixed results in reducing AVH, possibly due to variability of underlying brain anatomy between individual subjects. The influence of anatomical variability could be eliminated by individually positioning the TMS coil according to each patient's structural brain MRI. The proposed pilot project will investigate the clinical efficacy of open-label individualized MRI-guided TMS applied to the left TPJ in ten patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. If the results of the pilot study show promising reductions in AVH, it will set up the foundation for a larger sham-controlled clinical trial.
Arms and Interventions
|Experimental: Individualized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided rTMS
Participants will receive a type of TMS called repetitive TMS (rTMS) wherein the magnetic pulses delivered will be close together in a rapid sequence. They will receive a 20-min once-daily rTMS sessions over a period of 2 weeks (weekends off), and therefore accrue a total of 10 rTMS stimulation sessions. The rTMS parameters that will be used are a frequency of 1 Hz (1 pulse per second) at an intensity of 90% of the motor threshold (MT). Therefore, the investigators will deliver 1200 continuous pulses per session/day which adds up to 12,000 pulses in total for the whole treatment.
Device: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
During the rTMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the subjects scalp on the left side of the head. The electromagnet painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in the region of the brain involved in speech perception.
Primary Outcome Measures
- Total number of rTMS sessions completed [2 weeks.]
The total number of rTMS sessions completed. A session is defined as 20 minutes of rTMS.
- Total number of treatment emergent adverse events [2 weeks.]
The total number of treatment emergent adverse events. An emergent adverse event is defined as any rTMS risk induced incident in research such as headache and seizure.
Secondary Outcome Measures
- Change in Auditory Hallucination Rating Scale (AHRS) [Up to 4 weeks.]
The AHRS is an investigator-administered scale assessing multiple characteristics of auditory verbal hallucinations. The total score ranges from 2 to 41, with higher scores indicating more severe symptoms.
- Change in Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale (PSYRATS) [Up to 4 weeks.]
The PSYRATS consists of 17 items on delusions and auditory hallucinations, with each item being rated from 0 (absent) to 4 (severe).
- Change in Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) [Up to 4 weeks.]
The SAPS includes 34 items that focus on the positive symptoms on schizophrenia. Each item is rated on a severity scale that ranges from 0 (none) to 5 (severe).
- Change in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) [Up to 4 weeks.]
The PANSS rates the presence and severity of positive and negative symptoms, as well as general psychopathology associated with schizophrenia. Each item is rated from 1 to 7 (range=30-210). Higher scores indicate more severe symptoms.
- Change in Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale (CAPS) [Up to 4 weeks.]
The CAPS is a 32 item scale for measuring perceptual anomalies, that includes subscales for measuring distress, intrusiveness and frequency. A higher score indicates a higher number of perceptual anomalies, scores range from 0 (low) to 32 (high).
- Change in Clinical Global Impression Improvement (CGI-I) Scale [2 weeks]
The CGI-I is a clinician-rated scale to quantify overall clinician impression of improvements in level of illness. The CGI-I is rated on a 7-point scale, to assess illness improvement. CGI-I scores range from 1 (very much improved) through to 7 (very much worse).
- Change in Clinical Global Impression Severity (CGI-S) Scale [2 weeks]
The CGI-S is a clinician-rated scale to quantify overall clinician impression of illness severity. The CGI-S is rated on a 7-point scale, with the severity of illness scale using a range of responses from 1 (normal) through to 7 (amongst the most severely ill patients).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
Completion of the study #7114 and availability of an acquired MRI scan
Capacity and willingness to provide informed consent
Mean AHRS item score of greater or equal to 2
If female and not infertile, must agree to use one of the following forms of contraception for the duration of study participation: systemic hormonal treatment, an intrauterine device (IUD) which was implanted at least 2 months prior to screening, or "double-barrier" contraception. Women of child bearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test at screening
Taking an antipsychotic medication at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks. All oral and depot antipsychotics are allowable.
Substance use disorder (excluding nicotine) within last 90 days, or positive toxicology screen for any substance of abuse
Participation in study of investigational medication/device within 4 weeks
History of seizure, epilepsy and neurologic conditions with structural cerebral damage, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, meningoencephalitis or intracerebral abscess, parenchymal or leptomeningeal cancers, dementia, developmental disability, cerebrovascular disease, increased intracranial pressure, or central nervous system (CNS) tumors, brain surgery, head injury with loss of consciousness >1 hour or clear cognitive sequelae, intracranial metal implants, known structural brain lesion
Subjects with devices that may be affected by TMS (pacemaker, cardioverter defibrillator, medication pump, intracardiac line, cochlear implant, implanted brain stimulator/neurostimulator)
Subjects with suicidal ideation with intent or plan (indicated by affirmative answers to items 4 or 5 of the Suicidal Ideation section of the baseline C-SSRS) in the 6 months prior to screening or subjects who represent a significant risk of suicide in the opinion of the investigator
Frequent and persistent migraines
Clinically significant skin disease
Presence of unstable medical disorders, including those that are previously undiagnosed, untreated, inadequately treated, or active to an extent which might make participation hazardous. For example, hypertension, previous stroke, brain lesions, or heart disease
History of prior clinically significant, adverse response to neurostimulation
Current treatment with ototoxic medications (amino-glycosides, cisplatin)
MRI incompatible implants
Contacts and Locations
|1||New York State Psychiatric Institute||New York||New York||United States||10032|
Sponsors and Collaborators
- Columbia University
- Principal Investigator: Michael Avissar, MD, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute
Study Documents (Full-Text)None provided.