Neuropsychiatric Therapeutic Procedures Programs

The initial collaborative project focuses on continuation/maintenance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Mayo is one of five groups comprising the Centers for Outcomes Research on ECT (CORE).

Recently, Keith Rasmussen, M.D., a co-investigator on the first ECT NIMH grant, received funding from NIMH to study the cognitive effects and antidepressant efficacy of ECT from three different electrode placements: right unilateral, bifrontal, and bitemporal. The study plans to recruit 360 patients at four sites over three years. We have also broadened our program to include new research initiatives in other physical modalities that treat mental illnesses. These include transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and vagal nerve stimulation (VNS).

The TMS lab adjoins the ECT suite and has a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulator, as well as necessary equipment to perform physiologic studies using TMS. The Shaughnessy Foundation continues to support the study (TMS Treatment of Depression in Subjects with Comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder: A Pilot Study). Fifteen of the expected 20 subjects have been enrolled. Incidental findings of improved fibromyalgia pain in the context of this study have been reported and grant applications for funding further study of TMS in chronic pain are in progress.