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Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Diagnosing Preclinical Dementia


This study will explore the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) integrated with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) for diagnosing preclinical dementia. This research will support development of a more sensitive diagnostic tool for dementia.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years 75 Years All Yes
April 3, 2018
October 31, 2020

Participants with mild cognitive impairment:

  • Cognitive concern expressed by a physician, informant, participant, or nurse
  • Impairment in one or more cognitive domains (memory, language, visuospatial skills, or executive functions)
  • Essentially normal functional activities
  • Absence of dementia
  • Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE, Appendix 19) scores of 18 to 23
  • Clinical Dementia Rating Scale score of 0.5

Healthy participants will be screened with the MMSE.

  • Contraindications to MRI
  • Contraindications to TMS
  • History of stroke
  • Clinical diagnosis of dementia
  • Diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorder
  • Lefthandedness

TMS is a non-invasive approach to stimulate the brain for which no surgery, anesthesia, or sedation is involved and that has a proven safety record. A magnetic coil, placed on the surface of the head, generates a magnetic field that is about the same strength as the magnetic field used by MRI machines. When this magnetic field rapidly alternates, the neurons under the coil are excited This provides a neurophysiological biomarker that can be studied for how it varies between healthy people and those with mild cognitive impairment. fMRI, which measures the brain's functional connectivity patterns, will be conducted when the brain is in a resting state, before and after the TMS procedure. Participants will undergo the TMS and fMRI procedures in a single day visit.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Arizona
Tucson Arizona 85721 Recruiting Mark Sundman, MS

University of Arizona

Name Phone Email
Mark H Sundman, MS 520-626-7755
Ying-hui Chou, ScD


Probing Cortical Excitability and Cognitive Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment With Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation