Neuroimaging of Depression with Diffuse Optical Tomography During Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation


Scientific Reports. 11(1):7328, 2021 04 01.

Jiang S; Huang J; Yang H; Wagoner R; Kozel FA; Currier G; Jiang H

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is an effective and safe treatment for depression; however, its potential has likely been hindered due to non-optimized targeting, unclear ideal stimulation parameters, and lack of information regarding how the brain is physiologically responding during and after stimulation. While neuroimaging is ideal for obtaining such critical information, existing modalities have been limited due to poor resolutions, along with significant noise interference from the electromagnetic spectrum. In this study, we used a novel diffuse optical tomography (DOT) device in order to advance our understanding of the neurophysiological effects of rTMS in depression. Healthy and depressed subjects aged 18-70 were recruited. Treatment parameters were standardized with targeting of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with a magnetic field intensity of 100% of motor threshold, pulse frequency of 10 per second, a 4 s stimulation time and a 26 s rest time. DOT imaging was simultaneously acquired from the contralateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Six healthy and seven depressed subjects were included for final analysis. Hemoglobin changes and volumetric three-dimensional activation patterns were successfully captured. Depressed subjects were observed to have a delayed and less robust response to rTMS with a decreased volume of activation compared to healthy subjects. In this first-in-human study, we demonstrated the ability of DOT to safely and reliably capture and compare cortical response patterns to rTMS in depressed and healthy subjects. We introduced this emerging optical functional imaging modality as a novel approach to investigating targeting, new treatment parameters, and physiological effects of rTMS in depression.