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A Pilot Study of the Use of Magnetic Seizure Therapy for Depression (MST)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00808938
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 16, 2008
Last Update Posted : February 13, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Bayside Health

Brief Summary:

Electro convulsive therapy (ECT) remains the only established therapy for the large percentage of patients with depression who fail to respond to standard treatments. It is commonly used but has substantial problems including the occurrence of cognitive side effects that are often highly distressing for patients. The development of a new treatment with similar efficacy but which minimises these side effects would have great clinical value. One highly promising possibility is magnetic seizure therapy (MST). MST involves replacing the electrical stimulation used in ECT with a magnetic stimulus. This appears to be able to produce similar clinical effects but without the disabling cognitive side effects related to ECT. However, substantive trials using the newest MST equipment are required. Due to the rarity of the equipment available so far, these are only being undertaken in a handful of places internationally and no research with MST has occurred in Australia. The investigators are fortunate to have been able to obtain one of the very limited number of MST devices available internationally and are proposing a pilot study of this technique. Conduct of a successful pilot study would be strong justification for an application for a large head-to-head MST - ECT comparison trial. Should MST be shown to have similar efficacy to ECT but with reduced side-effects, it is envisioned that it could rapidly replace ECT in clinical practice throughout Australia and indeed internationally with substantial ongoing benefits to patients. These would include enhanced use of it as an outpatient therapy as well as the reduction in side-effects.

The study will be an open label trial of MST in 15 patients with treatment resistant depression who have been referred for ECT. All patients will undergo a dose titration procedure to establish seizure threshold, six MST treatment sessions will then be provided at 120% of threshold. If the patients have not achieved a 50% reduction in their depressive symptoms (as measured by the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale rating scale) patients will receive another 12 sessions. MST will be administered three times a week. Patients will undergo a series of assessments to determine both the efficacy of MST and the cognitive outcomes. The primary outcome measure will be the MADRS measure of depression severity. The investigators will additionally measure patient rated depression severity and cognitive functioning The overall aim of the current project is to, via an open label pilot trial, investigate the clinical response to magnetic seizure therapy in patients with treatment resistant depression who have been referred for electroconvulsive therapy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Treatment Resistant Depression Device: MST Phase 2

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 15 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Pilot Study of the Use of Magnetic Seizure Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression
Study Start Date : January 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : January 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : January 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Seizures

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Active Treatment Device: MST
Magnetic Seizure Therapy

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. MADRS [ Time Frame: 2 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Cognitive Assessment [ Time Frame: 2 - 6 weeks ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Have a DSM-IV diagnosis of a major depressive episode
  2. Are referred for or an outpatient course of ECT at the Alfred Hospital
  3. Age 18-75
  4. Have a Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score of > 25 (moderate - severe depression)
  5. Demonstration of capacity to give informed consent: this will be assessed by the study psychiatrist as well as the patient's primary treating psychiatrist.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Have an unstable medical condition, or neurological disorder or are currently pregnant or lactating.
  2. Patients not considered sufficiently well to undergo general anaesthesia for any reason
  3. Patients with cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants or other implanted electronic devices. Patients with non-electric metallic implants will also be excluded.
  4. Significant concurrent axis 1 or 11 psychiatric comorbidity.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00808938

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Australia, Victoria
Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre
Prahran, Victoria, Australia, 3181
Sponsors and Collaborators
Bayside Health
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Bayside Health Identifier: NCT00808938    
Other Study ID Numbers: 28508
First Posted: December 16, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 13, 2013
Last Verified: December 2008
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases