Evaluating a promising treatment for post-stroke depression

Around 50% of people who survive stroke experience post-stroke depression. Current pharmacology management is troubled by several side effects and poor treatment adherence. Identifying new treatments for post-stroke depression would be a significant breakthrough for stroke survivors, their families and the wider health system.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a safe and promising treatment that increases brain activity with electromagnetic pulses. By changing neural activity in the brain, it can improve depression. However, it is unclear how damage to the brain following stroke influences the effectiveness of this treatment.

This study aims to optimise rTMS therapy for post-stroke depression by identifying stroke characteristics that could be enable greater clinical benefit from this treatment.

People who are experiencing depression after stroke are encouraged to contact the research team. To ensure participant safety, each person will be screened to ensure there is no history of seizure, no metal in the skull and no implanted electrical devices (e.g., permanent pacemaker).

Participants deemed safe for this treatment will then undergo an MRI scan (no cost) of ~45 minutes duration, followed by 10 rTMS treatment sessions over a two-week period. Each treatment session lasts for ~45 mins and involves the delivery of painless, high-frequency electromagnetic pulses. 


Please contact Dr Brenton Hordacre, University of South Australia, phone 08 8302 1286 or email Brenton.Hordacre@unisa.edu.au

Participant information sheet (PDF 271 KB)