Individualized Precision Targeting of Dorsal Attention and Default Mode Networks with rTMS in Traumatic Brain Injury-Associated Depression

SOURCE: Scientific Reports. 13(1):4052, 2023 Mar 11.

AUTHORS: Siddiqi SH; Kandala S; Hacker CD; Trapp NT; Leuthardt EC; Carter AR; Brody DL

ABSTRACT: At the group level, antidepressant efficacy of rTMS targets is inversely related to their normative connectivity with subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC). Individualized connectivity may yield better targets, particularly in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders who may have aberrant connectivity. However, sgACC connectivity shows poor test-retest reliability at the individual level. Individualized resting-state network mapping (RSNM) can reliably map inter-individual variability in brain network organization. Thus, we sought to identify individualized RSNM-based rTMS targets that reliably target the sgACC connectivity profile. We used RSNM to identify network-based rTMS targets in 10 healthy controls and 13 individuals with traumatic brain injury-associated depression (TBI-D). These “RSNM targets” were compared with consensus structural targets and targets based on individualized anti-correlation with a group-mean-derived sgACC region (“sgACC-derived targets”). The TBI-D cohort was also randomized to receive active (n = 9) or sham (n = 4) rTMS to RSNM targets with 20 daily sessions of sequential high-frequency left-sided stimulation and low-frequency right-sided stimulation. We found that the group-mean sgACC connectivity profile was reliably estimated by individualized correlation with default mode network (DMN) and anti-correlation with dorsal attention network (DAN). Individualized RSNM targets were thus identified based on DAN anti-correlation and DMN correlation. These RSNM targets showed greater test-retest reliability than sgACC-derived targets. Counterintuitively, anti-correlation with the group-mean sgACC connectivity profile was also stronger and more reliable for RSNM-derived targets than for sgACC-derived targets. Improvement in depression after RSNM-targeted rTMS was predicted by target anti-correlation with the portions of sgACC. Active treatment also led to increased connectivity within and between the stimulation sites, the sgACC, and the DMN. Overall, these results suggest that RSNM may enable reliable individualized rTMS targeting, although further research is needed to determine whether this personalized approach can improve clinical outcomes.