Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for Alcoholism

The Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM
Alcoholism+2 More
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) - Device
All Sexes
Eligible conditions

Study Summary

This study is evaluating whether a magnetic stimulation device may help reduce alcohol use in individuals with alcohol use disorder.

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Eligible Conditions

  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD)

Treatment Effectiveness

Study Objectives

This trial is evaluating whether Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) will improve 4 primary outcomes in patients with Alcoholism. Measurement will happen over the course of 2 weeks.

2 weeks
Change in cerebellar brain activation as indicated by percent signal change in the medial cerebellum during incongruent minus congruent trials during a multisensory Stroop task during fMRI
Change in self reported negative affect as measured by the Promise anger, anxiety and depression scales
3 weeks
Change in percent days abstinent as measured by the Time Line Follow Back
8 weeks
Time to drinking relapse as measured by the Time Line Follow Back

Trial Safety

Trial Design

2 Treatment Groups

Sham TMS
Cerebellar rTMS
Placebo group

This trial requires 34 total participants across 2 different treatment groups

This trial involves 2 different treatments. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will all receive the same treatment. Some patients will receive a placebo treatment. The treatments being tested are not being studied for commercial purposes.

Cerebellar rTMS
Cerebellar rTMS. 1Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to cerebellar vermis.
Sham TMS
Sham TMS. Sham transcranial magnetic stimulation to cerebellar vermis.
First Studied
Drug Approval Stage
How many patients have taken this drug
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
Completed Phase 4

Trial Logistics

Trial Timeline

Approximate Timeline
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: 8 weeks
This trial has the following approximate timeline: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and roughly 8 weeks for reporting.

Who is running the study

Principal Investigator
J. H.
Prof. Jon Houck, Associate Professor of Translational Neuroscience
The Mind Research Network

Closest Location

The Mind Research Network - Albuquerque, NM

Eligibility Criteria

This trial is for patients born any sex aged 18 and older. There are 5 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
Have at least 4 heavy drinking days (≥ 5 drinks per day for men, and ≥4 for women) in the past 60 days;
Currently receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder.
Males and females age 18-65 meeting DSM-V criteria for moderate or severe AUD in the past year;
Interested in cutting down or quitting drinking;
Able to provide voluntary informed consent;

Patient Q&A Section

Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.

What are common treatments for alcoholism?

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If alcohol is the only reason for a diagnosis of alcoholism, medical attention is often unnecessary. Treatments include counselling about alcohol, referral to supportive-education services, and medication aimed at alleviating or preventing withdrawal symptoms, alcoholism-related impairment, or dependence (including antidepressants) or alcohol's adverse effects. Some alcoholics, however, must seek medical assistance before they can receive appropriate care.

Unverified Answer

What are the signs of alcoholism?

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Alcoholic intoxication results in impaired perception, judgement, and memory; reduced learning and processing speed (executive function); and slurred and stumbling speech. Patients also have impaired hand-eye coordination, blurred vision, anterograde and retrograde amnesia, and a state of intoxication can result in confusion and delusions. Decreased mental function leads to decreased judgement and may lead to violent and dangerous behaviours.

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How many people get alcoholism a year in the United States?

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The majority of Americans develop alcohol dependence at some point. The United States is among the first nations to recognize and acknowledge the problem of alcohol abuse and dependence in its citizens. In the United States, 15% of the adult population had alcohol dependence as of July, 2003. With the number in demand for alcohol and alcoholics, it is estimated that each year 586,800 new cases will arise.\n

Unverified Answer

What causes alcoholism?

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Most people attribute their initiation of alcohol abuse to alcohol's availability in shops and bars, while others are more likely to initiate once having established a lifelong drinking pattern. The reasons are complex, but it is clear that more research is needed into what influences the development of drinking behavior as a way to develop a preventive treatment to prevent alcoholism.

Unverified Answer

Can alcoholism be cured?

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Although no cure exists, we have a good understanding that alcoholism-related symptoms, like alcoholic cirrhosis, can be managed by abstinence and the use of medications. We also have effective treatment methods for alcoholism, including medication-assisted detoxification and twelve-step programs of care. We feel that these approaches may help prevent alcoholism's devastating effects in the future.

Unverified Answer

What is alcoholism?

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Alcoholism usually occurs with a mental, nervous and emotional disturbance. It is most likely to be passed on by a close relative. It is a disease that can be treated, but the cure is not a complete cure. Alcoholism causes a great loss of money to people, the family, employers, and society in general.

Unverified Answer

What is the primary cause of alcoholism?

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The present findings suggest that genetic differences may influence drinking in a manner that facilitates alcohol use whereas alcohol abuse may be determined by environmental factors, such as alcohol education, family environment, and cultural norms in addition to a genetic predisposition.

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Have there been any new discoveries for treating alcoholism?

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Alcoholism remains a difficult and challenging health problem in both the United States and Europe. There is a significant need for effective treatments for alcoholism. Several lines of research have produced promising new drug targets and a few new drugs, including amodiaquine, carrasalazine, disulfiram, and diprenorphine. Although the drug sertraline, originally labeled as an antidepressant, shows significant promise in animal models of alcoholism, the development of this drug for the treatment and/or prevention of alcoholism has been discontinued. Current clinical investigation of amodiaquine, diprenorphine, disulfiram and other antimalarial drugs may lead to a more effective, safe, and inexpensive treatment for alcoholism.

Unverified Answer

Is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rtms) typically used in combination with any other treatments?

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For any given individual with depression or alcohol dependence, rtms is not typically used in combination with another treatment. Because our study included a significant proportion of individuals with comorbid alcohol dependence, we can not preclude the possibility that this is the exception. At present, the safety and efficacy of rtms in combination with other treatments need further investigation, as does the utility of this technique as a novel and innovative treatment for depression and alcohol dependence.

Unverified Answer

Have there been other clinical trials involving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rtms)?

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We found that repetitive [transcranial magnetic stimulation]( is a safe and efficacious treatment for alcohol dependence with or without comorbid psychiatric or medical conditions, but no clinical trials have yet described long-term effectiveness. It has been employed in randomized controlled trials with moderate success in alcoholism. Most research on this form of treatment is of short duration and larger and longer-term studies are needed to determine the degree of treatment effectiveness in alcoholics.

Unverified Answer

What is the latest research for alcoholism?

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Overall, alcoholism is not a curable illness. However, one possible cure for alcoholism could be an alcohol use disorder (AUD). In terms of managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, an effective alcohol detox protocol can minimize physical complications from alcohol withdrawal. The use of medication is being promoted as being effective in preventing alcohol relapse. For individuals who are still struggling with their AUDs, medication may be an avenue to treatment, if there is a combination of adequate mental health support, alcohol dependence counseling, and recovery medication. If prescribed, medications can be effective in lowering alcohol use, with several drugs being approved for this purpose. Most of the major medications are prescribed in combination with some sort of therapy.

Unverified Answer

Does repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rtms) improve quality of life for those with alcoholism?

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These preliminary data suggest that rtms, applied over the somatosensory area with either low frequency (1 Hz) or over an entire session of rtms, is well tolerated. A larger, double-blind, controlled study is needed to examine rtms in people with alcoholism.

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