Clinical Research

Group Walther

Past Projects

Stimulated by our work on neural correlates of aberrant gesture behavior in schizophrenia, we now test whether transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may improve gesture performance in schizophrenia and healthy controls. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial is running since January 2018 and still recruiting.

Collaborators: Dr. Petra Viher, students (Maribel Kunz, Manuela Müller, and Caroline Zürcher), Irena Vladimirova

Registration: see www.clinicaltrials.gov

Previously, we demonstrated how motor retardation is associated with aberrant brain structure and function in major depression and bipolar disorder. Like in schizophrenia, we detected that perfusion of premotor areas and basal ganglia is altered in subjects with psychomotor retardation. Likewise, white matter properties in major motor tracts are altered as a function of psychomotor slowing. The current project will test neural differences between severe depression and first episode depression.

Collaborators: Dr. Tobias Bracht, Dr. Andrea Cantisani, Prof. Andrea Federspiel and students

Psychomotor slowing is a major problem in both major depression and schizophrenia. It relates to reduced motor activity in fine and gross motor behavior, critically impacting daily functioning. In the light of our previous findings on motor network pathology in patients with psychomotor slowing, we are now conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of four different TMS protocols and daily administration over 3 weeks. The main hypothesis is that inhibitory TMS over the Supplementary Motor Area (SMA) will reduce psychomotor slowing. The study started in 2016 and is currently recruiting subjects.

Collaborators: Dr. Georgios Schoretsanitis, Dr. Lea Schäppi, Danai Alexaki

Registration: see www.clinicaltrials.gov