First large, placebo-controlled double-blind stody of rTMS for Alzheimer’s receives funding

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Zahra Moussavi holding a device capable of applying repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, which her new study will investigate as a therapy for Alzheimer’s patients.

Funding for clinical trials of a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has been announced by the Weston Brain Institute, Toronto, Canada. Zahra Moussavi, Canada research chair in Biomedical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, is receiving CAD$1,737,960 for her project on investigating the efficacy of high-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

This proposal is the first large placebo-controlled double-blind study designed with sufficient statistical rigour to measure the efficacy of rTMS treatment in Alzheimer’s, according to a press release.

“The Weston Brain Institute is pleased to support this kind of critical high-risk, high-reward work,” says Alexandra Stewart, executive director at the institute.

“If successful, Dr. Moussavi’s work with rTMS will be a significant step forward in developing effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease,” Stewart says.

“All Manitobans will benefit from the research discoveries this funding will fuel,” says John (Jay) Doering, associate vice-president of Partnerships at the University of Manitoba, Winnepeg, Canada. “New treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are being sought worldwide. Moussavi’s research program will result in better quality of life for patients, families and caregivers.”

“Thanks to participants of my pilot study on rTMS treatment for Alzheimer’s, whose encouraging results made it possible to get funded for this large multi-centre clinical trial, I am excited to start this study,” says Moussavi. “I am optimistic that rTMS treatment can help to slow the progression of the disease if applied at early and moderate stages.”

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.