Transcranial magnetic stimulation intervention in Alzheimer's disease: a research proposal for a randomized controlled trial

BMC Res Notes. 2018 Sep 5;11(1):648. doi: 10.1186/s13104-018-3757-z.


Objective: Alzheimer's disease is a major health problem in our society. To date, pharmacological treatments have obtained poor results and there is a growing interest in finding non-pharmacological interventions for this disease. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that is able to induce changes in brain activity and long-term modifications in impaired neural networks, becoming a promising clinical intervention. Our goal is to study the benefit of individualized TMS targeting based on the patient's functional connectivity (personalized targeting), and short duration TMS protocol, instead of current non-individualized and longer session approaches. A double blind randomized controlled trial will be conducted to assess the effects of TMS treatment immediately, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months after the end of the intervention. Fifty-four patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease will be randomly allocated into experimental (active TMS), sham control, or conventional intervention control group. We will quantify changes in cognitive, functional, and emotional deficits in Alzheimer patients, as well as the functional connectivity changes induced by the TMS treatment.

Results: We expect to demonstrate that personalized TMS intervention has a measurable positive impact in cognition, emotion, daily living activities and brain connectivity, thus representing a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Trial registration The trial has been prospectively registered at, identifier NCT03121066. Date of registration: 04/19/2017.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; Functional connectivity; Non-invasive brain stimulation; Parietal cortex; TMS; Theta burst stimulation; Transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data