Grant-Funded Projects on Affective Disorders

Treatment of major depressive disorder with bilateral theta burst stimulation (TBS-D)

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Christian Plewnia, Tübingen
Local project leader Würzburg: Prof. Dr. Martin J. Herrmann, PD Dr. Thomas Polak
Funding: BMBF
Project duration: 2020-2023


Depression is one of the most common and serious psychiatric disorders. Unfortunately, standard pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment is sometimes insufficient, so that new complementary treatment options are being tested. One of these is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), but research is still needed to define the optimal stimulation parameters. Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) is an advanced and much shorter form of rTMS, for which initial studies have described a good patient response.

Aims and goals

In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled, clinical trial, the effectiveness of bilateral TBS as an augmentative treatment for depression is tested for its clinical efficacy. A total of 236 patients will be enrolled in this study who will receive active or sham stimulation.

The treatment is carried out as an additional therapy on every working day for 6 weeks. The sustainability will be evaluated by 1 and 3-month follow-ups.

Head of Hospital

Portrait of Prof. Dr. phil. Martin Herrmann

Prof. Dr. phil.
Martin Herrmann (Chief psychologist)

Chief psychologist

+49 931 201-76650