Paul M. Thompson, PhD, associate director of the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and co-founder of the ENIGMA Consortium, has partnered with ENIGMA collaborator Roberto Goya-Maldonado, PD, of the University Medical Center Göttingen in Germany, to improve a new depression treatment.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a procedure that stimulates the brain’s nerve cells with magnetic fields to alleviate symptoms of major depressive disorder when other treatments have failed. However, only 40-50% of patients respond to rTMS.

The researchers hope that by applying a machine-learning program to neuroimaging, they can assess structural differences between the brains of patients to predict outcomes and optimize the use of rTMS.

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