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 motivating, and social withdrawal.

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


Benefits to participant:

For more information about participating, or if you have questions about the study, please contact t he 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 schizophrenia. Our patients are diverse, ranging in age from 18-55. We offer new and innovative treatments for all people, particularly those for 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. 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 (TMS)?

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 required?

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. 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 none. 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 schizophrenia, or to schedule an evaluation appointment, please call the study coordinator at (212) 543-5174 or e-mail us at

Contact Information:

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

Principal     Arielle D. Stanford, M.D.

Investigator:     Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
                           Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation


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 – 12 pm; by appointment only

Phone:      For appointments, call (212) 543-5767.