A Preliminary Investigation Of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Applied To The Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex In Treatment Seeking Participants With Cannabis Use Disorder. medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences Sahlem, G. L., Kim, B., Baker, N. L., Wong, B. L., Caruso, M. A., Campbell, L. A., Kaloani, I., Sherman, B. J., Ford, T. J., Musleh, A. H., Kim, J. P., Williams, N. R., Manett, A. J., Kratter, I. H., Short, E. B., Killeen, T. K., George, M. S., McRae-Clark, A. L. 2023


Background: Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is a common and consequential disorder. When applied to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) reduces craving across substance use disorders and may have a therapeutic clinical effect when applied in serial sessions. The present study sought to preliminarily determine whether serial sessions of rTMS applied to the DLPFC had a therapeutic effect in CUD.Methods: This study was a two-site, phase-2, double-blind, randomized-controlled-trial. Seventy-two treatment-seeking participants (37.5% Women, mean age 30.2±9.9SD) with =moderate-CUD were randomized to active or sham rTMS (Beam-F3, 10Hz, 20-total-sessions, with cannabis cues) while undergoing a three-session motivational enhancement therapy intervention. The primary outcome was the change in craving between pre- and post- treatment (Marijuana Craving Questionnaire Short-Form-MCQ-SF). Secondary outcomes included the number of weeks of abstinence and the number of days-per-week of cannabis use during 4-weeks of follow-up.Results: There were no significant differences in craving between conditions. Participants who received active rTMS reported numerically, but not significantly, more weeks of abstinence in the follow-up period than those who received sham rTMS (15.5%-Active; 9.3%-Sham; rate ratio = 1.66 [95% CI: 0.84, 3.28]; p =0.14). Participants who received active rTMS reported fewer days-per-week of cannabis use over the final two-weeks of the follow-up period (Active vs. Sham: -0.72; Z=-2.33, p =0.02).Conclusions: This trial suggests rTMS is safe and feasible in individuals with CUD and may have a therapeutic effect on frequency of cannabis use, though further study is needed with additional rTMS-sessions and a longer follow-up period.Highlights: This phase-2 RCT tested the efficacy of prefrontal rTMS for cannabis use disorderThe study paradigm was safe and feasible, and participants tolerated rTMS wellThe active-group had numerically more weeks of abstinence during follow-upThe active-group had fewer days-per-week of cannabis use during follow-upMore rTMS and a longer follow-up may result in a larger effect in future studies.

View details for DOI 10.1101/2023.07.10.23292461

View details for PubMedID 37503294