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Supplementary Material for: Enhancing Cognitive Restructuring with Concurrent Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Transdiagnostic Randomized Controlled Trial

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posted on 22.09.2021, 12:01 by Neacsiu A.D., Beynel L., Powers J.P., Szabo S.T., Appelbaum L.G., Lisanby S.H., LaBar K.S.
Introduction: Emotional dysregulation constitutes a serious public health problem in need of novel transdiagnostic treatments. Objective: To this aim, we developed and tested a one-time intervention that integrates behavioral skills training with concurrent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Methods: Forty-six adults who met criteria for at least one DSM-5 disorder and self-reported low use of cognitive restructuring (CR) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial that used a between-subjects design. Participants were taught CR and underwent active rTMS applied at 10 Hz over the right (n = 17) or left (n = 14) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) or sham rTMS (n = 15) while practicing reframing and emotional distancing in response to autobiographical stressors. Results: Those who received active left or active right as opposed to sham rTMS exhibited enhanced regulation (ds = 0.21–0.62) as measured by psychophysiological indices during the intervention (higher high-frequency heart rate variability, lower regulation duration). Those who received active rTMS over the left dlPFC also self-reported reduced distress throughout the intervention (d = 0.30), higher likelihood to use CR, and lower daily distress during the week following the intervention. The procedures were acceptable and feasible with few side effects. Conclusions: These findings show that engaging frontal circuits simultaneously with cognitive skills training and rTMS may be clinically feasible, well-tolerated and may show promise for the treatment of transdiagnostic emotional dysregulation. Larger follow-up studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of this novel therapeutic approach.