Cigarette smoking causes significant morbidity and mortality in the United States. Smoking cessation is difficult, with the average smoker attempting to quit five times before permanent success. Moreover, the majority of smoking quit attempts result in relapse. Brain stimulation for smoke cessation is an exciting new area that builds on advancing neuroscience knowledge concerning the functional neurocircuitry of addiction. Cortical stimulation can now be performed non-invasively by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Several studies have shown that TMS can reduce cue-elicited craving in smokers. Previous research by our group has shown that a single session of 15 minutes high frequency (10 Hz) repetitive TMS (rTMS) at 100% motor threshold over the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) can reduce cue-induced craving compared to sham TMS. However, the mechanism by which craving is reduced by rTMS is poorly understood both at behavioral and neural levels. Neuroimaging studies in nicotine dependence have revealed cue-related responses in numerous brain areas, including frontal, parietal cortices and subcortical areas. Recently functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies by our group have shown that cue-induced craving induced brain activation in ventral medial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), including medial frontal, orbital frontal and anterior cingulate. This Chair Research Development Fund (CRDF) pilot proposal will integrate two new techniques- TMS and fMRI to investigate DLPFC-VMPFC pathway in smokers. Using double-masked methods we hypothesize that cue-induced exposure will induce brain activity in VMPFC, and 15 minutes rTMS over DLPFC will reduce cue-induced craving through modulating DLPFC-VMPFC pathway (increased activity DLPFC and decreased activity VMPFC). In the one year of project, we plan to recruit 10 non-treatment-seeking nicotine-dependent cigarette smokers and 20 non-smoking participants, both males and females of all ethnic and racial groups between the ages of 18 and 60 to participate in the study. The participants will randomly receive two different types of brain stimulation: active rTMS or sham rTMS over the left DLPFC with a 1 week interval between treatments. MRI scans will be completed pre and post rTMS. The data from this pilot will provide the information needed for submitting a larger-scale investigation (R01) to investigate cue craving neutral pathway and develop a potential clinical applications of TMS in smoke cessation.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is often used to assess the excitability of the brain and the connectivity between the brain and peripheral muscles. However, less work has been completed with the portion of the brain controlling leg muscles. In addition, there appears to be more error and less reliability in these measures in those with stroke. This project aims to assess a battery of TMS-derived outcome measures to determine the most effective for those after stroke. This information is of critical importance as we use this technology to assess changes after rehabilitation post stroke and to understand the motor control of walking after neurologic injury.
Nicotine dependence remains a significant public health concern. Nicotine can affect brain neural oscillations. A magnetic field applied to the outside of the skull can produce electrical activity in the brain without significant pain or the need for anesthesia. In this proposal, we will build an individual brain signal-driven transcranial magnetic stimulation loop, and then test whether this stimulation loop can modulate neural oscillations and reduce cue-induced craving, including nicotine craving. This research will build an innovative brain stimulation method for neuroscientific research and develop a potential efficacy therapy for nicotine dependence as well other neuropsychiatric disorders.
The current investigation uses a brain-based technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which has helped to treat depression, to try to stimulate those brain regions understood to be essential to emotional experience and impaired in PTSD. In summary, the aim is to enhance emotion engagement and regulation and possibly uncover new brain-based interventions that could help ready the brain so an individual with PTSD could then fully engage and thus optimize emotion-focused psychotherapy.
Over many years, we have learnt that the brain's connections with the spinal cord change in response to injury or training. Because brain-spinal cord (i.e., corticospinal) pathways are very important in movement control, restoring function of these pathways could help to restore useful movement after spinal cord injury (SCI). In this project, we hypothesize that operant conditioning training of the muscle response to non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation can strengthen the functional connectivity of corticospinal pathways and thereby alleviate movement problems in people with chronic incomplete SCI. Specifically, through this project, we will investigate the effects of strengthening the corticospinal connection to the ankle dorsiflexor muscles through operant up-conditioning of the muscle evoked response, in hope to enhance the function of corticospinal pathways and alleviate foot drop (i.e., weak ankle dorsiflexion resulting in toe drop and drag) during walking in people with chronic incomplete SCI.
This study proposes to design and build a neural imager/stimulator which will let us obtain information about brain circuits and pathways by acquiring electrical and fMRI signals from the brain at the same time. By adding magnetic stimulation to the instrument we will be able to perturb these circuits at precise times and locations in order to both improve how TMS is used as an anti-depression treatment as well as to better understand how our brains function. This research has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of how best to use TMS as a treatment as well as learning how our brains function. This study simply proposes to develop the combined instrument. The use of the new instrument as a anti-depressive treatment will be presented independently after we have developed a working instrument.
This study examines the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation as a tool to change the brain's response to alcohol cues. There are 3 study visits. At each study visit participants will receive a single session of real or sham transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) followed by an MRI scan. This study does not involve alcohol treatment. Interested individuals must be referred for participation by the Charleston Alcohol Research Center Clinical Intake and Assessment Core. For more information, call 792-1222 or email email@example.com.
We will study healthy adults with a brain stimulation tool (TMS) either inside or outside of the MRI scanner, and test with EEG whether it matters where we place the TMS coil on the head. The TMS induced changes in EEG have been proposed as a surrogate measure of brain connectedness, which changes greatly when we are conscious and when we are not.
It is common for stroke survivors to have difficulty attending to the affected side of their body or to the affected side of space after stroke (unilateral neglect). Individuals with neglect frequently experience weakness in their arm/hand also. The purpose of this study is to test the effects of 3 different rehabilitation training sessions that combine non-invasive brain stimulation (transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS) with arm/hand rehabilitation training (repetitive task-specific practice, RTP). This study is designed to determine the effects of tDCS + RTP on the excitability in the brain, attention to the affected side, and arm movement ability.
The purpose of this study is to compare the antidepressant efficacy of two different coils used to stimulate the brain during rTMS (repetitive TMS), including the evaluation of both the safety and effectiveness of the test article for the H-7 coil. This study compares the H7-coil (which is new and experimental, and not FDA approved at this time) to the H1-Coil (which is FDA approved to treat depression) deep brain rTMS in subjects with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).