• ד"ר ליאור כרמי

Brain stimulaition

Clinical and electrophysiological outcomes of deep TMS over the

medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices in OCD patients


a b s t r a c t

Background: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a chronic and disabling disorder with poor

response to pharmacological treatments. Converging evidences suggest that OCD patients suffer from

dysfunction of the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuit, including in the medial prefrontal

cortex (mPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

Objective: To examine whether modulation of mPFC-ACC activity by deep transcranial magnetic stimulation

(DTMS) affects OCD symptoms.

Methods: Treatment resistant OCD participants were treated with either high-frequency (HF; 20 Hz),

low-frequency (LF; 1 Hz), or sham DTMS of the mPFC and ACC for five weeks, in a double-blinded

manner. All treatments were administered following symptoms provocation, and EEG measurements

during a Stroop task were acquired to examine changes in error-related activity. Clinical response to

treatment was determined using the Yale-Brown-Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS).

Results: Interim analysis revealed that YBOCS scores were significantly improved following HF (n ¼ 7),

but not LF stimulation (n ¼ 8), compared to sham (n ¼ 8), and thus recruitment for the LF group was

terminated. Following completion of the study, the response rate in the HF group (n ¼ 18) was significantly higher than that of the sham group (n ¼ 15) for at least one month following the end of the

treatment. Notably, the clinical response in the HF group correlated with increased Error Related

Negativity (ERN) in the Stroop task, an electrophysiological component that is attributed to ACC activity.

Conclusion: HF DTMS over the mPFC-ACC alleviates OCD symptoms and may be used as a novel therapeutic

intervention. Notwithstanding alternative explanations, this may stem from DTMS ability to

directly modify ACC activity.



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