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Protocol Details

Task-dependent Effects of TMS on the Neural Biomarkers of Episodic Memory

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: 40 Years

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

Pregnant Women


Memory performance;
Neural Biomarkers;
Noninvasive transcranial magnetic stimulation

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Normal Physiology

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Device: TMS

Supporting Site

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the brain has been used to change the activity and

connections in the brain to improve memory. Researchers are interested in how these brain changes cause memory improvements and how activity at the time of stimulation may change the effects of TMS.


To learn how brain stimulation can be used to improve memory.


Healthy adults ages 18-40


Participants will be screened with a medical record review.

Participants will have 3 study visits.

At visit 1, participants will have a physical exam and will talk about their health. They will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI scanner is a metal cylinder surrounded by a strong magnetic field. During the MRI, participants will lie on a table that can slide in and out of the scanner. A coil will be placed over the head. Participants will be asked to keep their eyes focused on a small cross on a computer screen inside the scanner. The scanner makes loud noises. Participants will get earplugs.

At visits 2 and 3, participants will have TMS and perform tasks. For TMS, a wire coil encased in plastic is held on the scalp. When the coil is triggered, a brief electrical current passes through the coil and creates a magnetic pulse that stimulates the brain. During TMS, an electroencephalogram (EEG) will record brain activity. For the EEG, a cloth cap with electrodes is fitted on the participant s head. Participants will complete a memory task and a spatial processing task. They will also complete surveys about their mental state.

Participation will last 2-3 weeks.

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In order to be eligible to participate in this study, an individual must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study

2. Ability of subject to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent document.

3. Age 18-40 (inclusive)


An individual who meets any of the following criteria will be excluded from participation in this study:

1.) Any current major neurological or psychiatric disorder such as (but not limited to) stroke, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia or major depression

2.) History of seizure

3.) Medications acting on the central nervous system, such as those that lowers the seizure threshold such as neuroleptics, beta lactams, isoniazid, metronidazole; benzodiazepines, tricyclic or other antidepressants; or prescription stimulants.

4.) Inability to provide informed consent

5.) Ferromagnetic metal in the cranial cavity or eye, implanted neural stimulator, cochlear implant, or ocular foreign body

6.) Implanted cardiac pacemaker or auto-defibrillator or pump

7.) Non-removable body piercing

8.) Claustrophobia

9.) Inability to lie supine for 1 hour

10.) Pregnancy, or plans to become pregnant during the study.

11.) Members of the NINDS BNU

12.) Subjects who have contraindications to MRI will follow the NMR Center guidelines for MR safety.

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Hermiller MS, Chen YF, Parrish TB, Voss JL. Evidence for Immediate Enhancement of Hippocampal Memory Encoding by Network-Targeted Theta-Burst Stimulation during Concurrent fMRI. J Neurosci. 2020 Sep 9;40(37):7155-7168. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0486-20.2020. Epub 2020 Aug 17. PMID: 32817326; PMCID: PMC7480242.

Wang JX, Rogers LM, Gross EZ, Ryals AJ, Dokucu ME, Brandstatt KL, Hermiller MS, Voss JL. Targeted enhancement of cortical-hippocampal brain networks and associative memory. Science. 2014 Aug 29;345(6200):1054-7. doi: 10.1126/science.1252900. PMID: 25170153; PMCID: PMC4307924.

Silvanto J, Bona S, Cattaneo Z. Initial activation state, stimulation intensity and timing of stimulation interact in producing behavioral effects of TMS. Neuroscience. 2017 Nov 5;363:134-141. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 8. PMID: 28893648; PMCID: PMC5648046.

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Eric M. Wassermann, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
(301) 496-0151

Gautam C. Ramanathan
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Institutes of Health
Building 10
Room 7D48
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
(301) 496-0220

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: TTY Users Dial 7-1-1

Clinical Trials Number:


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