2017 Research Update: Functional Brain Imaging

Principal Investigator: Dr. Desmond Oathes,     the University of Pennsylvania

Research Description: This clinical project combines a non-invasive electromagnetic treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with functional MRI imaging. TMS is currently approved for use in treating depression. Using information from the brain imaging to target the treatment to a specific region of the brain is hypothesized to improve treatment outcomes for patients with major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress or both.

 Project Length: 24 months

Current Updates: Dr. Oathes’s funding began in October 2016. To date, he has:

  • Determined the timing/dose of TMS treatment for the clinical trial
  • Trained clinicians to deliver the treatment
  • Determined clinical and self-report scales for measuring outcomes
  • Begun the screening process for potential patients, although no patients have been enrolled yet

Dr. Oathes is also working to expand the clinical non-invasive electromagnetic treatments at Penn. He has been given suggestions that some of the initial scan costs may be defrayed by the Radiology Department, to allow more patients to benefit.