for people ages 18-70 (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Elizabeth Twamley, PhD
Headshot of Elizabeth Twamley
Elizabeth Twamley



The primary goal of this study is to evaluate whether intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) is effective for treating depression in people who have depression and chronic hoarding disorder (HD). The study will also evaluate whether this treatment can improve HD symptoms, cognitive performance, and brain region connectivity. The study team will investigate how the treatment works for depression, as well as other factors that can enhance or hinder treatment, such as pre-treatment level of depression, cognitive performance, or brain region connectivity.


Hoarding Disorder, Hoarding, Depression, TMS, Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Depressive Disorder, iTBS


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-70

  1. Signed and dated informed consent form
  2. Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study
  3. Male, female, or non-gender conforming individuals (i.e. those who do not identify as male or female)
  4. All racial and ethnic groups
  5. Ages 18 to 70
  6. Meets criteria for current Major Depressive Episode within the context of Major Depressive Disorder, per HAM-D and DIAMOND.
  7. Meets criteria for current Hoarding Disorder, per SIHD
  8. Score of 18 or higher on the HAMD-17, indicating moderate to severe depressive symptoms
  9. Stable on psychiatric medications for 6 weeks, with no changes to psychiatric medications expected during the study period

    10. No contraindications to TMS (passes the TMS Adult Safety Screening questionnaire) 11. No contraindications to MRI (passes MRI safety screening questionnaire) 12. Able to commit to the treatment schedule 13. Able to complete assessment procedures in English 14. Intact decision-making capacity and ability to provide voluntary informed consent

You CAN'T join if...

  1. History of other neurological condition including but not limited to: conditions associated with increased intracranial pressure; space occupying brain lesions; cerebral aneurysm; stroke; transient ischemic attack within past two years; Parkinson's disease; Huntington's disease; dementia; multiple sclerosis; history of brain surgery; epilepsy; seizure except those therapeutically induced by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or a febrile seizure of infancy
  2. Implanted medical devices that are not explicitly recognized as MRI safe, including cardiac pacemaker, medication pump, aneurysm clip, shunt, stimulator, cochlear implant, electrodes, or any other metal object within or near the head (excluding the mouth) that cannot be safely removed
  3. Active manic or psychotic illness per DIAMOND
  4. Current substance use disorder per DIAMOND
  5. Current active suicidal or spontaneously disclosed homicidal ideation. Active suicidal ideation for this study is defined as a score of 3 or greater on the HAMD-17 and/or 3 or more on the PHQ-9.
  6. Pregnant or intending to become pregnant within the study period; breastfeeding
  7. Other sensory conditions or illnesses precluding participation in assessments or treatment
  8. Current dose of lorazepam 2 mg or greater daily (or benzodiazepine equivalent) or any anticonvulsant due to the potential to limit iTBS efficacy
  9. Taking medication that lowers seizure threshold

    10. Previous failed treatment with rTMS, iTBS, or ECT


  • UC San Diego accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92093 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Elizabeth Twamley, PhD
    Dr. Twamley (she/her) earned a BA in Social Ecology at UC Irvine and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University. She completed her clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at UCSD and joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry in 2003.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Expecting 12 study participants
Last Updated