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Effect of Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation on the Neural Processing of Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Volunteers

Abstract : Background: Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is a form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation that has shown to be effective in treatment-resistant depression. Through studying the effect of iTBS on healthy subjects, we wished to attain a greater understanding of its impact on the brain. Our objective was to assess whether 10 iTBS sessions altered the neural processing of emotional stimuli, mood and brain anatomy in healthy subjects. Methods: In this double-blind randomized sham-controlled study, 30 subjects received either active iTBS treatment (10 sessions, two sessions a day) or sham treatment over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Assessments of mood, structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) were performed before and after iTBS sessions. During the fMRI, three different categories of stimuli were presented: positive, negative and neutral photographs. Results: This study showed that, during the presentation of negative stimuli (compared with neutral stimuli), 10 sessions of iTBS increased activity in the left anterior insula. However, iTBS did not induce any change in mood, regional gray matter volume or cortical thickness. Conclusions: iTBS modifies healthy subjects’ brain activity in a key region that processes emotional stimuli. (AFSSAPS: ID-RCB 2010A01032-37).
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Contributor : Hal Sorbonne Université Gestionnaire <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 11:57:49 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 9:08:50 AM


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Virginie Moulier, Christian Gaudeau-Bosma, Fanny Thomas, Clémence Isaac, Maxence Thomas, et al.. Effect of Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation on the Neural Processing of Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Volunteers. Journal of Clinical Medicine, MDPI, 2021, 10 (11), pp.2449. ⟨10.3390/jcm10112449⟩. ⟨hal-03265837⟩



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