University of Manitoba researchers to test rTMS treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

14 December 2016 (Last Updated December 14th, 2016 18:30)

University of Manitoba researchers are set to begin a clinical trial of an experimental treatment, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

University of Manitoba researchers to test rTMS treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

University of Manitoba researchers are set to begin a clinical trial of an experimental treatment, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

The procedure of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves issuing a current which passes through a coil placed on the scalp producing a magnetic field.

The magnetic field then crosses the skull to reach the brain, wherein a small current is induced.

The application of repetitive(r) TMS at either low or high-frequencies is currently approved to treat depression.

The large placebo-controlled double-blind study has been designed to investigate efficacy of rTMS treatment improving conditions of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The trial will be led by Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering Dr Zahra Moussavi with a team comprising local, national and international collaborators.

Weston Brain Institute has announced $1.7m fund to support the project to test efficacy of high-frequency rTMS treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

University of Manitoba associate vice-president (Partnerships) Dr John Doering said: “All Manitobans will benefit from the research discoveries this funding will fuel.

"Dr. Moussavi’s research programme will result in better quality of life for patients, families and caregivers."

“New treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are being sought worldwide.

"Dr. Moussavi’s research programme will result in better quality of life for patients, families and caregivers.”

The rTMS procedure has demonstrated positive result in improving or stabilising cognition capabilities in Alzheimer’s patients in recently held trials.


Image: Dr Zahra Moussavi to lead clinical trial of rTMS treatment. Photo: courtesy of CHRIS REID.