Baseline Prediction of rTMS Efficacy in Alzheimer Patients

SOURCE: Psychiatry Research. 308:114348, 2022 02.

AUTHORS: Lithgow BJ; Dastgheib Z; Moussavi Z

ABSTRACT: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) with extensive
2-6-week protocols are applied to improve cognition and/or slow the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). To date, there are no means to predict the response of a patient to rTMS treatment at baseline. Electrovestibulography (EVestG) biomarkers can be used to predict, at baseline, the efficacy of rTMS when applied to AD individuals. In a population of 27 AD patients (8 with significant cerebrovascular symptomatology, labelled ADcvd) EVestG signals were measured before and after rTMS treatment, and then compared with 16 age-matched healthy
controls. MoCA was measured at baseline, whilst ADAS-Cog was the primary outcome measure. AD severity and comorbid cerebrovascular disease were treated as covariates. Using ADAS-Cog total score change, 13/27 AD/ADcvd patients improved with rTMS and 14/27 showed no-improvement. Leave-one-out-cross-validated linear-discriminant-analysis using two EVestG features yielded a blind accuracy of 75% for separating the improved and non-improved populations. Three-way separation of improved/non-improved/control accuracy was 91.9% using MoCA (67% alone) and one EVestG feature (66% alone). AD severity affects the rTMS treatment efficacy. The effect of existing significant cerebrovascular
symptomatology on the efficacy of rTMS treatment remains unresolved. Baseline EVestG features can be predictive of the efficacy of rTMS treatment.