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COVID-19 Compatible Accelerated TMS Therapy

Clinical Trial Details

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an FDA-cleared treatment for depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) that uses focused magnetic field pulses to stimulate target brain areas. Multiple brain targets in the prefrontal cortex have shown consistent evidence of treatment efficacy in both depression and OCD, but there are currently no established methods for selecting the optimal target site in individual patients.

Additionally, rTMS may underperform or even fail if the rTMS regimen is under-dosed. Delivering an adequate dose of stimulation can be especially challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, because standard protocols require patients to visit a clinical TMS suite daily for brief sessions for up to 42 days, which poses numerous logistical challenges during the pandemic.

In this open-label study, we will test a new 5-day accelerated rTMS protocol with established efficacy in two recent publications. Subjects will complete a 5-day course of rTMS delivered hourly for 10 hours per day. Subjects who show a partial response to treatment but not a full response will then receive a second 5-day course. The goals of the study are to determine the overall efficacy and trajectory of response to accelerated rTMS for depression or OCD in an open-label context and to identify predictors of differential response to each treatment.

Key Eligibility: 

Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Male or female between the ages of 18 and 70 years old
  • Diagnosis of major depressive disorder OR obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Failure to respond in the current episode to at least one antidepressant or other pharmacotherapy for depression or OCD
  • Off antidepressants OR on a stable dose of antidepressants for greater than or equal to four weeks

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current depressive episode greater than or equal to 2 years duration or history of significant neurological disorder
  • Evidence of cognitive impairment or other issue affecting capacity to consent
  • Significant substance use disorder within the past 6 months
  • Prior exposure to any form of TMS during the current depressive episode
  • Participated in any clinical trial with an investigational drug or device within the past 6 weeks prior to screening  
  • Presence of foreign metal bodies/implanted intracranial devices (MRI contraindication)
  • Current pregnancy or planning to conceive during the study period

Detailed eligibility will be reviewed when you contact the study team

Study contact by location

Upper East Side - Manhattan


Megan Johnson

Primary Investigator(s)

Protocol ID(s)

Weill Cornell Medicine IRB #:






Open to Enrollment

Age Group