February 03, 2006

New York Schizophrenia Treatment Study Opportunity

This just in from Columbia University (New York City) - News on a new study on the treatment of schizophrenia with rTMS (repetitive Trancranial Magnetic Stimulation). We encourage you to try it out, if you are in the NYC area. Its free and may help.

Study Information for Protocol #4892 Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) In The Treatment Of Negative Symptoms And Social Dysfunction In Schizophrenia Patients.

Research Study:
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in The Treatment of Negative Symptoms and Social Dysfunction in Schizophrenia Patients

Brief Overview:
In rTMS therapy, a device called a "stimulator" provides electrical energy to a "magnetic coil" that delivers a magnetic field. When placed against the surface of the head, this coil can cause certain parts of the brain to either increase or decrease in activity, depending on how quickly the magnetic pulses are delivered. This study is designed to test whether high-frequency TMS delivered to an area near the temple, called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, can improve the so-called “negative symptoms” of schizophrenia, which include decreased thinking, difficulty concentrating, and social withdrawal.

Participation in the study consists of sessions lasting about 45 minutes per day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks.


• Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective disorder
• “Negative” symptoms, such as decreased thinking, difficulty concentrating, and social withdrawal
• If on medication, must be on a stable dose of meds for 4 weeks prior to starting and limited doses of benzodiazepines
• No personal or family history of seizures or epilepsy
• Age 18-55
• No history of bipolar disorder, or current major depression

Benefits to participant:

• Free clinical evaluation by a psychiatrist
• No-cost outpatient services

For more information about participating, or if you have questions about the study, please contact: The Brain Behavior Clinic Coordinator at 212-543-5767. You will be asked several screening questions over the telephone to help determine if you may be eligible for the study.

Study FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Who comes to the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Laboratory?
The TMS Lab specializes in treating adults who suffer from various
types of psychiatric disorders, including obsessive-compulsive
disorder. Our patients are diverse, ranging in age from 18-55. We
offer new and innovative treatments for all people, particularly for
those whom previous treatments have not been effective.

What can I expect during my first visit to the clinic?
The first consultation involves a comprehensive interview with an
experienced psychiatrist and social worker. In addition, it may be
necessary to perform a simple blood test or physical examination so
that we can accurately diagnose your illness and other medical
conditions. Upon completing the evaluation, your doctor will discuss
with you the diagnosis of your illness, along with recommendations for treatment.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?
The TMS lab is a leader in research on this potential, new treatment
for psychiatric disorders. TMS is a non-invasive means of stimulating
the brain using magnetic fields. TMS is administered by holding a
magnetic coil on the head. The coil is about the size of a ping-pong
paddle. This coil generates a strong but brief magnetic field. The
field enters the brain, where it stimulates the brain cells, or
neurons. If the coil is held over the area of the brain that causes
movement, the TMS will cause a twitch in the muscle whose brain
representation we are focusing on. It is not currently approved by the Federal Drug Administration and is only available in the context of approved research studies.

What does the treatment entail? What is the level of commitment

If eligible for one of our studies, you will have a physical exam, a
routine blood work-up and an electrocardiogram (ECG) prior to beginning
treatment. Routine visits to the clinic allow us to closely monitor
you, providing optimal clinical care. During each visit you will meet with your doctor and social worker to discuss your progress and the effectiveness of the treatment. The treatment entails a 4-week period of daily weekday (M-F) visits to the clinic on an outpatient basis.

What is the cost of treatment?
There is no cost. The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Laboratory is supported by private and public funding and all evaluation services are provided at no cost to the patient. In addition, for those patients who are eligible for our studies, treatment is available at no cost. This includes all doctor’s visits, routine lab work, any research treatment administered, and inpatient stay if required as part of the study.

FDA approval?
Since we specialize in innovative treatment, many of the treatments
that we study are not yet FDA-approved. All of our research studies,
however, are conducted with approval of the NYSPI Investigational
Review Board (research ethics committee).

For more information: To learn more about our free treatment programs
for depression, or to schedule an evaluation appointment, please call
our clinic coordinator at 212-543-5767 or e-mail us at BBClinic@columbia.edu

Basic Information:

Director: Sarah H. Lisanby, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia College of
Physicians and Surgeons,
Director, Brain Stimulation and Neuromodulation Division

Address: Brain Behavior Clinic
New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), Unit 21
1051 Riverside Drive, Room 1501
New York, NY 10032

Clinic Hours: Tuesdays, 1-5 pm; by appointment only
Thursdays, 9:00AM-12:00PM; by appointment only

Phone: For appointments, call (212) 543-5825.

e-mail: depression@columbia.edu or BBClinic@columbia.edu

website: http://nypisys.cpmc.columbia.edu/Depression/NToDep.htm

Posted by szadmin at February 3, 2006 02:19 PM

More Information on Schizophrenia Research Participation



rTMS maybe helpful. I believe that a full brain MRI scan in 1985 did reduce my auditory hallucinations. The problem is that my parents could no longer tell when I was having symptoms from schizophrenia. rTMS probably should be given to patients to reduce their auditory hallucinations, this will help them distingish reality from their delusional state better.

Posted by: Ken1 at February 4, 2006 07:45 AM

I just found this forum and I think it is great. I have a condition known as OCD with Delusions. If anyone knows more about this disorder or any studies going on in Minnesota, I would greatly appreciate and e-mail about it.

Posted by: Philip at February 7, 2006 12:55 AM

For the person in Minnesota, I have had symptoms of OCD too. I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Talk to your Dr. tell them that you are interested in the studies and see if they will give you some information also the national allience for the mentally ill may be of help. Hope you the best.

Posted by: L.P at February 7, 2006 07:57 PM

RE: TMS therapy for the negative symptoms?

The negative symptoms include social withdrawl. How is one to know that their social withdrawl is not linked to major-depression? Also, I (diagnosed with schizophrenia 16) have not been on medication for 15 years and have not had any 'full blown' positive symptoms, yet I had negative symptoms for years. Would it work on me? If TMS is tried, could I end up in a relapse, which I have avoided for years? My concern for this research is that my 16 year old son has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia affect and is presently on his 3rd hospital stay since May. I am wanting to try anything myself to help him live a better life. In my experience, the negative symptoms can be just as disruptive as the positive ones.

Posted by: Patty at October 23, 2006 06:35 AM

My son was not diagnosed until 19. He did always have behavior disorders since he was 3.I don't have schitzophrenia but his father did . Us parents, do anything to help our children to protect them from pain and to be able to show them the way. My son would hop on a bus to anywhere and be missing for up to 7 mo.In all he has had 4 six mo. hospitalizations. Unfortunately, every time they have a psycotic break he would loose incognative function in degrees.All I can stress is to try to keep up on all research and even retest early to be sure his illness is classified correctly as this desease is a different combination ,of 100 different deseases,I'm told, and the neg. and positive desease classif. effects the future type treatments.As time goes on my son is very reluctant to try anything as his illness progresses. I think it would of been easier in the begining and especially before he turned legal adult age.Also,guardianship is invaluable as they age because there seemes to always be times when you are left out of the circle of help. I hope this has been some help. My heart goes out to you but remember to stay strong and healthy for you so you can be there for him. God Bless You And Your precious son. Enjoy him!! Lorn

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