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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;11(2 Pt 2):425-30. doi: 10.1080/15622970802669564.

Using 3D-MRI to localize the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in TMS research.

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Department of Psychiatry, UZ Brussel, Brussel, Belgium.


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is currently used as a non-invasive treatment for depression. In most clinical trials, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been selected as the target site for TMS treatment and this region is commonly determined by a "standard procedure", using a fixed position with respect to the motor cortex. In this study, to evaluate the relevance of using individual anatomical data during coil positioning, we used a more individualized localization method, based on three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of the head (3D-MRI). We wanted to examine the intra-individual variability of the localization of the stimulation area using a method taking into account individual brain anatomy by 3D-MRI, by comparing this method to the "standard procedure". As expected, even in a gender-controlled sample, our results demonstrate that the difference between the anatomical localization and the standard procedure of a well-defined part of the prefrontal cortex varies within subjects. Therefore, our results confirm the need for a TMS-coil positioning method which incorporates individual anatomical information.

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