Efficacy of Intensive Orbitofrontal Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation (iOFcTBS) in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Study

SOURCE: Psychiatry Research. 298:113784, 2021 04.

AUTHORS: Dutta P; Dhyani M; Garg S; Tikka SK; Khattri S; Mehta S; Mishra J

ABSTRACT: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can non-invasively modulate specific brain regions in Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Citing orbito-frontal cortex (OFC) hyper-connectivity with striatum as the most consistent finding implicated in patho-physiologically of OCD, we aimed to study the effect of novel continuous Theta Burst Stimulation (cTBS) targeting OFC in OCD subjects on a randomized placebo control design. Thirty-three patients were randomly allocated to active cTBS (n= 18) and sham (n= 15) groups. They received 10 TBS sessions, 2 per day (total of 1200 pulses; intensive protocol) for 5 days in a week. The Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scores were assessed at baseline, after last session and at 2 weeks post-rTMS. On repeated measures-ANOVA, a significant group*time effect (from pretreatment to 2 weeks post TBS) for obsessions, compulsions, HAM-A, HAM-D, and CGI scores was found. But when controlled for confounding variables, only HAM-A scores and CGI effect retained statistical significance. We conclude that intensive OFC cTBS (iOFcTBS) in OCD is well tolerated with clinically significant improvements in anxiety symptoms and global severity. This improvement in anxiety symptoms could be due to modulations of state dependent dysregulation in OCD.