TMS for Adults With Autism and Depression

2016-10-21 04:08:21 | BioPortfolio


The goal of this proposal is to investigate whether a standard rTMS protocol for depression, including multiple sessions applied to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) results in reduction of depressive symptoms for adult patients with ASD and MDD (Aim 1). The secondary goal is to investigate and whether there is any beneficial reduction in the core symptoms of autism (Aim 2).


Aim 1. Determine the safety and therapeutic efficacy of left-sided DLPFC high frequency rTMS on MDD symptoms in patients with ASD: We hypothesize that patients receiving the rTMS will tolerate the treatment course without difficulty and have clinically significant reduction of depressive symptoms after receiving all 25 sessions, as compared with their symptom burden prior to initiating TMS. Depression symptom data will be collected as pre- and post-TMS scores on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). Depression scores will also be monitored periodically during course of TMS with Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ-9).

Exploratory sub-aim - Monitoring for durability of response: We hypothesize that subjects receiving rTMS will durability of response in their depression symptom reduction, as measured by HAM-D scores at 1 month and 3 months post-TMS.

Aim 2. Determine the effect of left DLPFC rTMS on core symptoms of ASD: We hypothesize that subjects will experience reduction in core symptoms of ASD after completing all 25 sessions, as compared with their symptom burden prior to initiating treatment. For social and communication deficits, informant and/or self-report evaluations will be made pre- and post-TMS with the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), the Ritvo Autism Aspergers Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R) and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC). Repetitive and restricted behavior will be evaluated using the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R), the ABC, and RAADS.

Exploratory sub-aim: Determine if there are changes to functional brain connectivity during face and object processing tasks via functional MRI imaging in patients with Autism who receive rTMS: We hypothesize that there will be altered brain connectivity evident in patients' baseline fMRI during cognitive processing tasks prior to TMS reflected as both hyper- and hypo-connectivity, and that there will be some level of normalization of these patterns in fMRI after completion of TMS series, particularly in the prefrontal cortex.

Exploratory sub-aim - Monitoring for durability of response: We hypothesize that subjects receiving rTMS will exhibit durability of response in their ASD symptom reduction, as measured by ABC, SRS, RAADS, AND RBR scores at 1 month and 3 months post-TMS.

Study Design

Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Autism Spectrum Disorder


NeuroStar® TMS device (Neuronetics, Atlanta, GA)


Medical University of South Carolina
South Carolina
United States




Medical University of South Carolina

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-10-21T04:08:21-0400

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A childhood disorder predominately affecting boys and similar to autism (AUTISTIC DISORDER). It is characterized by severe, sustained, clinically significant impairment of social interaction, and restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. In contrast to autism, there are no clinically significant delays in language or cognitive development. (From DSM-IV)

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