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UBC Mood Disorders rTMS Depression Study (Vancouver, BC)

Do you have bipolar disorder and have problems with depression?


A Randomized Double-blind Sham-controlled Trial of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in Acute Bipolar Depression

 Principal Investigator: Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, Department of Psychiatry, UBC

The UBC Mood Disorders Centre at UBC Hospital is looking for participants diagnosed with bipolar  who are currently depressed to participate in a double-blind study. The purpose of this four week double blind study is to assess the efficacy of intermittent Theta-Burst Stimulation (iTBS)- rTMS in comparison to sham-rTMS (mimics the sensation and muscular discomfort of rTMS without stimulating the brain) in treating depressive symptoms.


Individuals who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to participate in this trial:

  • Aged between 18 to 70 years.
  • Have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with a current episode of depression.
  • Have failed to response to an adequate dose or have been unable to tolerate the medication for treating Bipolar depression.
  • Must be taking therapeutic levels of anti-manic agents (lithium or valproate) or any of atypical antipsychotics, or combinations of these. Combinations of lamotrigine plus an antipsychotic, or lamotrigine plus lithium or valproate are allowed. ¬†Lamotrigine alone for bipolar II disorder is permitted.
  • Pass the TMS adult safety screening (TASS) questionnaire.

Individuals meeting any of the following criteria are not eligible to participate in this trial:

  • Have unstable medical illnesses, including moderate to severe brain injury.
  • Have a personal or family history of
  • Have a diagnosis of any neurological disorders.
  • Have any other primary diagnosis of psychiatric or personality disorders (other than Bipolar)
  • Have failed a course of Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) for the current episode.
  • Are currently taking more than 3 of the atypical antipsychotics.
  • Have a history of non-response to rTMS treatment.
  • Have substance or alcohol abuse or dependence within the past 3 months.
  • Are at a significant risk of harm to themselves or others.
  • Are pregnant or lactating.

Remuneration: Participants will receive compensation for each clinic visit completed. This is to cover any incidental costs incurred during the study such as transportation and parking.


For more information please call
Sharon Ahn: (604)-822-7320