aiTBS for NSSI and Suicide in Adolescent Depression


Central South University




Non Suicidal Self Injury
Suicidal Ideation
Suicide and Self-harm


Device: Active iTBS
Device: Sham iTBS

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been successfully used to help patients with treatment resistant depression. However, its role in alleviating self injuries with and without suicidal ideation remained uncertain. This trial will compare the effectiveness of active accelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation (aiTBS) rTMS to a placebo control on non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) and suicidal attempts in patients with major depressive disorder.

Full description

The study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of aiTBS in depressive patients with NSSI or suicidal thoughts and behaviors by measuring changes in clinical ratings at baseline, after all the treatments, and 4 weeks, 8 weeks after treatment. 60 inpatients will be randomized to receive active or sham interventions administered to the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. The treatment will apply active aiTBS rTMS involving 1800 pulses (9 minutes), 5x daily at 60 minutes intervals for 10 days. Changes in mood from baseline to the end of the study will be measured with The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17 item (HAM-D17), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) and Young's Mania Scale (YMRS). Non-suicidal self injury will be assessed by the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory (DSHI) and the Ottawa self-injury inventory (OSI). Suicidal ideation and behaviors assessments include Beck Suicidal Scale Inventory (BSI), the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), and several questions from Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview - Revised (SITBI-R). The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule for children (WHODAS-Child) will be used to evaluate the overall function of adolescent patients. Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (TESS) would be used to eliminate side effects of combined drugs at baseline and the adverse event record form (AERF) will be used to appraise the safety of aiTBS treatment using these parameters. Changes of brain structure and brain activities will be acquired by pre and post-interventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Fasting blood exams will be conducted to measuring the level of NSSI related endocrine and metabolic changes. To record the change in sensitivity to pain and examine the tolerability of the treatment for these participants, visual analogue scale (VAS) is employed after completing 5 sessions treatment every day.


60 estimated patients




12 to 18 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. Meet the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition) diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder.
  2. Patients aged 12-18 years with at least one guardian to monitor them for 3 months
  3. HAMD-17 Total score ≥18
  4. Hospitalized patients who had two or more non-suicidal self-injury behaviors meeting the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria in the week before admission (NSSI behavior of more than 5 days in the past year, and a baseline DSHI-behavior score ≥2 )
  5. Obtain informed consent from patients and guardians

Exclusion criteria

  1. Substance abusers such as psychoactive drugs or alcohol.
  2. Severe physical disability and unable to complete follow-up.
  3. Comorbid other major mental illnesses that meet the DSM-5 criteria, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mental retardation, dementia, severe cognitive impairment, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc.
  4. Suffering from any severe physical disease, neurological disease, traumatic brain injury, etc, that affects the structure or function of the brain in the lifetime.
  5. Unable to read, understand and complete the assessment or to cooperate with the investigators.
  6. Any implants covering a pacemaker, metallic or magnetic objects in the body, or other conditions not suitable for rTMS.
  7. A history or family history of epilepsy and other contraindications to TMS.
  8. Daily use of benzodiazepines (more than 2mg/d), theophylline, stimulants such as methylphenidate, anticonvulsants, bupropion, etc.
  9. Those who have received systematic psychotherapy (interpersonal relationship therapy, dynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy) or TMS within 3 months before baseline.
  10. Other examination abnormalities considered to be inappropriate by investigators.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Triple Blind

60 participants in 2 patient groups

Active stimulation
Active Comparator group
Active Intermittent theta burst stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; 5 sessions per day, for 10 days.
Device: Active iTBS
Sham stimulation
Sham Comparator group
Sham stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; 5 sessions per day, for 10 days.
Device: Sham iTBS

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Jing Huang, M.D. Ph.D; Jun Yang, M.D.

Data sourced from

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