Feasibility of Intermediate Theta Burst Stimulation as Sham Control in Therapeutic Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Studies

SOURCE: Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 79:103390, 2023 Jan.

AUTHORS: Bagali K; Sreeraj VS; Mehta UM; Venkatasubramanian G; Thirthalli J

ABSTRACT: A major challenge in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation trials is that of an inefficient sham protocol. This could potentially amplify the gap in behavioral outcomes following true and control treatments. Intermediate theta-burst stimulation (imTBS) is a promising sham alternative since it uses actual TMS pulses, thus mimicking the sensory effects of stimulation without producing physiological aftereffects. Here, we critically review controlled experiments that have examined physiological and behavioral aftereffects following imTBS with the intention to further investigate what appears to be a promising sham control modality for TBS studies.