Theta Burst Stimulation to Improve Inhibitory Motor Physiology in Tourette Syndrome


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Decades of Tourette Syndrome (TS) neuroimaging research has revealed abnormal cortical and subcortical motor system network, hypothesized to result from maladaptive plasticity. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation ([r]TMS) is a promising technology that utilizes the concept of neuroplasticity to modulate brain circuits. TMS modulation has the distinct advantage in terms of its non-invasive nature. Furthermore, unique stimulation paradigms such as intermittent theta-burst repetitive TMS (iTBS) allows for short stimulation time (<3 min).

Using a sham-controlled protocol, the investigators propose modulating pre-SMA output using iTBS, based on our prior data of abnormal pre-SMA-mediated motor system regulation. hypothesize pre-SMA modulation results in increased pre-SMA-mediated motor inhibition. Enhancing these inhibitory measures with pre-SMA-iTBS provides the basis for improving inhibitory function in TS patients, leading to our long-term goal of neuro-stimulation to achieve clinical tic reduction.

Study Overview

Start Date
November 1, 2022
Completion Date
February 17, 2025
Date Posted
November 29, 2022
Accepts Healthy Volunteers?


Full Address
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, United States


Minimum Age (years)
Maximum Age (years)
Eligibility Criteria
Inclusion Criteria:

Participants of any sex, race, or ethnicity meeting all criteria listed below will be included in the study:

Aged 10-21 years
Fluent in English
DSM-5 diagnosis of TS, confirmed by the clinical team
Able to participate in the informed consent process, provide voluntary informed consent/assent and provide a spontaneous narrative description of the key elements of the study.
Clinical stability: determined by a physician, no switch of psychotropic medications or increase in dosage in the last 14 days from TMS treatment start; no change in other therapeutic interventions in last 14 days from TMS treatment start.

Exclusion Criteria:

Any neurodevelopmental, psychiatric condition other than TS, ADHD, or OCD, or mild anxiety based on review of K-SADS. Note - if an exclusionary psychiatric diagnosis is suspected based on K-SADS, the research physician will follow up with the parent and referral will be made to psychology or psychiatry as appropriate.
Presence of metallic foreign bodies or implanted medical devices.
Not meeting inclusion criteria as described above
Non-fluency in English, as English is the language in the validated clinical questionnaires, and the participant must be able to understand real-time instructions from the study staff

Study Contact Info

Study Contact Name
Molly Griffith
Study Contact Email
Study Contact Phone

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FDA Regulated Drug?
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NCTid (if applicable)