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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Dementia

Active, not recruiting

This clinical trial will test whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) improves cognitive function in people mild to moderate cognitive impairment or dementia and whether responses to the intervention are correlated with the initial severity of cognitive impairment.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
55 Years 99 Years Both No
January 2016
November 12, 2020

  • Diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia likely due to Alzheimer's disease
  • Ability to obtain a motor threshold, determined during the screening process
  • Stable condition and living environment to enable attendance at scheduled clinic visits
  • If taking prescription medication for cognition, on a stable dose for at least 4 weeks prior to joining the study; willing to remain on stable regimen during the treatment phase
  • Able to read, verbalize understanding, and voluntarily sign the informed consent form to be signed by participant or legal representative

  • Prior exposure to rTMS or electroconvulsive therapy
  • Unable to safely withdraw from medications that substantially increase the risk of having seizures at least 2 weeks prior to starting treatment
  • Cardiac pacemaker, cochlear implant, or other implanted device or metal in the brain
  • Current substance abuse
  • Active current suicidal intent or plan
  • Current or prior history of seizure disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury within the last 2 months
  • Participation in interventional clinical trial at the same time as this trial
  • Known current psychosis
  • Current or prior history of mass lesion, cerebral infarct, or other non-cogitative, active central nervous system disease that would increase the risk for seizure
  • Not fluent in English or hearing impairment severe enough to impair comprehension

The primary hypothesis is that rTMS applied to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex will lead to improved memory, language, and executive function, compared to a sham, control treatment. Improvement is defined as having higher performance on specific cognitive tests. Researchers will also examine changes in serum and cerebrospinal fluid brain-derived neurotrophic factor  levels after treatment.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto California 94304-1290

VA Office of Research and Development

Name Role Affiliation
Jauhtai Cheng, MD Principal Investigator VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Name Phone Email
Jauhtai Cheng, MD


Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Dementia