Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and its Imaging Features in Patients with Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury. [Review]

SOURCE: Academic Radiology. 30(1):103-112, 2023 01.

AUTHORS: Huntley JH; Rezvani Habibabadi R; Vaishnavi S; Khoshpouri P; Kraut MA; Yousem DM

ABSTRACT: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a type of noninvasive neurostimulation used increasingly often in clinical medicine. While most studies to date have focused on TMS’s ability to treat major depressive disorder, it has shown promise in several other conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). As different treatment protocols are often used across studies, the ability to predict patient outcomes and evaluate immediate and long-term changes using imaging becomes increasingly important. Several imaging features, such as thickness, connectedness, and baseline activity of a variety of cortical and subcortical areas, have been found to be correlated with a greater response to TMS therapy. Intrastimulation imaging can reveal in real time how TMS applied to superficial areas activates or inhibits activity in deeper brain regions. Functional imaging performed weeks to months after treatment can offer an understanding of how long-term effects on brain activity relate to clinical improvement. Further work should be done to expand our knowledge of imaging features relevant to TMS therapy and how they vary across patients with different neurological and psychiatric conditions.