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TMS for Improving Response Inhibition in Adolescents with OCD

What is TMS?

In TMS, an electrical magnet is used to stimulate part of the brain for a short time. TMS can noninvasively (without any part of the device entering the brain directly) stimulate the brain from outside the head to study specific brain areas and how they work.

What is the Goal of this study?

The purpose of this study is to test whether brain stimulation can improve the connections between areas of the brain that are responsible for stopping unhelpful behaviors and improving response inhibition. Response Inhibition is a type of brain function that is involved in stopping unwanted or unhelpful behaviors. This brain function is thought to play a role in OCD compulsions, a type of OCD symptom that involves repeating unhelpful behaviors. We will be using a form of brain stimulation called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to stimulate the brain and to record the effect this stimulation has on teens' response inhibition. If we can improve these brain connections and the ability to stop unhelpful behaviors, we hope this may improve teens' response inhibition and eventually lead to a new treatment for teens with OCD. 


TMS device


EEG cap

Who can participate?

You may be eligible for the TMS study if you or your child:

  • Is 13–18 years old

  • Has symptoms of OCD

Common OCD symptoms include:

  • Feeling driven to do or repeat things over and over

  • Excessive worry about germs, contamination, or illness

  • Needing things to feel 'just right' or be done perfectly


Participation in this study consists of:

  • Diagnostic interview conducted remotely via Zoom with study staff from Bradley Hospital (approximately 1.5 hours)

  • Visit 1 to Butler Hospital (approximately 2 hours)

    • May include TMS and an EEG​

  • Visit 2 to Butler Hospital (approximately 2 hours)

    • May include TMS and an EEG​

After each visit, your child will be asked to complete brief electronic surveys sent via text message.

Please call (401) 432-1469 for more information.

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