Ongoing Studies

CANON-Pilot Study (Innovator Study)

The CANON-Pilot study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) as a treatment for Veterans with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and decrease the exceedingly high rate of relapse associated with this condition. Veterans in full-time residential treatment programs for AUD completed pre and post-assessment visits, including neuroimaging, psychodiagnostic interviews and psychiatric questionnaires, and completed 30 treatment sessions of dTMS targeting the salience network.

Current pharmacological and psychosocial interventions demonstrate only a moderate level of efficacy, which is reflected in the high rate of relapse in AUD. At least 60% of those with AUD will experience a major relapse within 6 months of treatment, irrespective of the employed intervention (psychosocial and/or pharmacological). To improve treatment options for individuals with AUD, interventions need to more effectively address the associated neurobiological dysfunction. Non-invasive neuromodulation techniques are showing promise toward modifying specific and selective neural targets related to AUD and relapse. TMS is one such well-established neurostimulation method that is at the forefront of innovative, non-invasive, and safe treatments for AUD and other psychiatric disorders. However, to date device-based interventions for AUD have focused on cortical stimulation, while preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that subcortical nodes within the salience network could be promising novel neuromodulation targets. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is a core node of the salience network, and hence was chosen as the neural target of this research study. Deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) is one type of neuromodulation technique, and utilizing an H7 coil design can reach the dACC. The ultimate goal of this study was to provide novel treatment that more effectively promotes sustained abstinence in Veterans with AUD, as extended abstinence is robustly associated with optimum biomedical, neuropsychological, psychiatric, and psychosocial recovery and functioning.