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Network-targeted Theta-burst Stimulation for Episodic Memory Improvement in Mild Cognitive Impairment


Brief Summary

The purpose of this study is to see if stimulation of the brain can improve memory. The investigators will use a device called transcranial magnetic stimulation that can stimulate and activate a specific part of the brain that is important for memory. The study will enroll MCI subjects who will be randomly assigned to receive active or sham brain stimulation. 'Blinded' or 'sham-controlled' means that the subject will not know whether the treatment they receive is the active treatment or the non-active stimulation. In the 'sham' condition, the stimulator will turn on but will not actually be stimulating the target brain region.

Primary Purpose
Study Type


Healthy Volunteers
Minimum Age
55 Years
Maximum Age
90 Years

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 55-90 years of age
  • Willing to provide informed consent and participate in a longitudinal study
  • In good general health
  • Ability to read and write English fluently
  • Adequate visual and auditory acuity to allow neuropsychological testing
  • Screening laboratory/ECG without abnormalities that might interfere with the study
  • Diagnosis of mild neurocognitive disorder according to DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria
  • No change in use of psychotropic medication for treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHS or psychosis 1 month prior and during the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Active major psychiatric or neurologic disorders
  • Active alcohol or substance abuse
  • Recent (< 6 months) alcohol or substance abuse excluding nicotine or caffeine
  • Active or history of stroke, traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness, or other neurologic disorder (e.g., Epilepsy, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease)
  • Not a native English Speaker
  • Not right handed based on self-report or evaluation based on a standard report
  • Has received TMS before (not TMS naïve)
  • Head trauma or systemic diseases affecting brain function
  • Uncontrolled hypertension or cardiovascular disease
  • Current enrollment in a memory-enhancement study or course
  • Contraindication to the MRI including claustrophobia, metal in body, surgery within 60 days, certain implants or previous abnormal MRI results.
  • Currently taking:
  • anticholinergic medication (e.g., Detrol, Cogentin);
  • sedating antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl);
  • any drug that has significant anticholinergic or antihistaminic side effects (e.g., tricyclic antidepressant medications, Remeron).
  • benzodiazepines. While not a strict rule out, this will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on the dose.

Join this Trial

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Study Stats
Protocol No.
Semel Institute (Psychiatry)
Principal Investigator
Nanthia Suthana
  • UCLA Westwood
For Providers
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