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The Effect of Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation (iTBS) in Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Yuan, Chenxin 
Su, Hang 
Chen, Tianzhen 
Voon, Valerie 
Du, Jiang 


Background:Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive stimulation technique which has a treatment potential for alcohol use disorder. Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is a new rTMS technique which is shorter in duration and thus with better tolerability and shows similar efficacy as rTMS for the treatment of depression. The effect of iTBS on reducing craving in alcohol use disorder patients requires further investigation. Methods:A randomized, controlled, single-blind, multicenter study with 60 alcohol use disorder patients randomized (2:1) to the iTBS group or the control group (sham iTBS). The stimulation target will be identical in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Baseline evaluations will be occurred before the intervention, after the intervention immediately, and 1 and 3 months after the intervention. The primary outcome of the study will be decrease of visual analogue scale (VAS) scores from baseline to the end of treatment. Discussion:This study is a randomized controlled trial to investigate the efficacy of left DLPFC iTBS in a population of alcohol use disorder patients, compared with sham iTBS. If it is effective for alcohol use disorder, it may provide a potential treatment which is tolerable, accessible, and clinical useful. Cinical Trial Registration:This study is registered in the ClinicalTrials with trial number NCT03932149. Registered 17 April 2019.



Craving, Randomized controlled trial, Alcohol Use Disorder, Non-invasive Brain Stimulation, Itbs

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Frontiers in Psychiatry

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