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Our team is at the forefront of neuroscience research into mental health conditions and neurostimulation in Australia and the world.

Our work in personalised TMS is published in the most prestigious neuroscientific and psychiatric journals, including JAMA Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry and Human Brain Mapping. We collaborate with national and international leaders in TMS research.


Subgenual functional connectivity predicts antidepressant treatment response to transcranial magnetic stimulation: independent validation and evaluation of personalization.

Cash, Robin FH, Andrew Zalesky, Richard H. Thomson, Ye Tian, Luca Cocchi, and Paul B. Fitzgerald.

Biological Psychiatry 86, no. 2 (2019): e5-e7.

What we found

Our team show in this study that TMS can be personalised to the individual when treating depression by analysing brain activity between brain regions. We found that an optimal site for stimulation can be found that is highly variable between individuals.

The closer that TMS was applied to the personalised optimal site in an individual the greater the reduction in depression symptoms.


Personalized connectivity‐guided DLPFC‐TMS for depression: Advancing computational feasibility, precision and reproducibility.

Cash, Robin FH, Luca Cocchi, Jinglei Lv, Yumeng Wu, Paul B. Fitzgerald, and Andrew Zalesky.

Human brain mapping (2021).

What we found

In this study our team demonstrate the accuracy and reliability of our methods in determining the personalised stimulation site for TMS. We show that the personalised stimulation site is predicted by the individual’s genetic make-up.

This finding may account for why the personalised stimulation site for each individual remained stable over a 1 year follow-up period.


Functional magnetic resonance imaging–guided personalization of transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment for depression.

Cash, Robin FH, Luca Cocchi, Jinglei Lv, Paul B. Fitzgerald, and Andrew Zalesky.

JAMA Psychiatry 78, no. 3 (2021): 337-339.

What we found

Our team show in this study that personalised TMS for depression using brain activity markers may out-perform similar methods that average brain activity markers over a group of people with depression.

We found that accounting for individual variability in brain activity when targeting TMS improved depression symptom reduction.


Using brain imaging to improve spatial targeting of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression.

Cash, Robin FH, Anne Weigand, Andrew Zalesky, Shan H. Siddiqi, Jonathan Downar, Paul B. Fitzgerald, and Michael D. Fox.

Biological Psychiatry (2020)

What we found

In this review our team highlighted the problems with standard TMS as it is practiced clinically today, with variable responses to treatment being linked to methods that result in low accuracy and reliability.

In comparison, we advocate for the development of neuroimaging guided TMS, with its potential for improving TMS treatment response by accounting for individual variability in brain activity and structure.


Personalized transcranial magnetic stimulation in psychiatry.

Luca Cocchi, and Andrew Zalesky.

Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging 3, no. 9 (2018): 731-741.

What we found

In this review our team highlighted the underlying reasons for the moderate and variable effect of TMS and its lack of well-developed indications outside of depression. The team argue that responsiveness to TMS may be improved by phenotyping diagnostic sub-groups that may identify characteristic patterns of brain activity associated with symptoms most responsive to treatment; an approach known as “biotyping”.

Additionally, the team review how neuroimaging and computational modelling can be used to develop personalised treatments that adjust brain target site, treatment frequency and dose intensity.

Other relevant studies commenting or referencing our team


Individualized functional targeting for rTMS: A powerful idea whose time has come?

Vila‐Rodriguez, Fidel, and Sophia Frangou.

Human Brain Mapping 42, no. 13 (2021): 4079.

What it was about

This editorial provided an overview of the scientific progress towards personalisation of TMS in neuropsychiatric disorders using individualised functional targets (iFT).

In the review our methods were singularly highlighted for praise, citing:

In closing, Cash and colleagues have developed a tool that shows robust performance to be used to address relevant questions. This work along with concurrent efforts to develop similar iFT for other conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Schizophrenia may be signaling that psychiatry may be ready to embark in an era of precision medicine.


Identification of Personalized Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Targets Based on Subgenual Cingulate Connectivity: An Independent Replication.

Siddiqi, Shan H., Anne Weigand, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, and Michael D. Fox.

Biological Psychiatry (2021): S0006-3223.

What it was about

This study was conducted by an independent research group to identify if the results from our study could be replicated using a different data set of people who undertook TMS for major depressive disorder. Crucially, the results were replicated, supporting that personalised TMS is possible when using an individual’s brain activity.

Having an independent research group validate our results using a different data set speaks strongly to the reliability of our methods.

Please note
Our methods on “individualised functional targeting” or “personalisation” (based on brain activity) cited in these scientific papers on this page of our website do not use an ARTG listed product.

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