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Neuromodulation+ Exposure Therapy (NExT) for Youth with OCD

NExT is a multisite trial of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for those age 12-21 who experience symptoms of OCD. For more information please call 401-432-1662 or complete a study interest form.

What is TMS?

TMS is a well-tolerated and noninvasive procedure that involves placing a hand-sized magnet next to the head to temporarily change the activity of brain cells. In this study, TMS will be used to change the activity level of brain regions involved in OCD.

What is the Goal of the Next study?

The purpose of the NExT study is to test two different types of TMS and determine whether they can improve the outcomes of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is very effective and is considered the frontline treatment for OCD, though many do not fully benefit from it. TMS has been studied for adults with OCD and for youth with other mental health disorders, but has not yet been tested for youth with OCD. We hope that this study will result in additional treatment options for youth and young adults with OCD. 


TMS device

Who can participate?

You may be eligible to participate if you or your child: 

  • Is 12-21 years old 

  • Has symptoms of OCD 

  • Is right-handed 

Common OCD symptoms include: 

  • Thoughts that get “stuck” in your head 

  • Feeling driven to do or repeat things such as tapping, checking, or hand-washing over and over 

  • Fears of contamination, germs, or harm 

  • Concerns related to perfectionism 

  • Feeling that things are “not just right” unless they are done in a certain way 

What is involved in the NExT Study?    

Participants in NExT are randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In two conditions, participants receive different forms of active (real) TMS. In the third condition, participants receive sham (fake) TMS. All participants will receive ERP. Treatment takes place daily (Monday-Friday) for about two weeks. Participants will also complete interviews, questionnaires, two brain scans (MRIs), and computer tasks, for which their time will be compensated.

NExT Study Timeline 

Study Timeline

Call 401-432-1662 or complete a study interest form 

Complete an initial evaluation (remote video conference) 

Complete an initial phone interview with NExT staff 

Confirmation of eligibility for the study 

Complete Assessment 1, including MRI 

Begin TMS+ERP treatment 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) experimental? 

No! ERP is not experimental. It has been tested in numerous research trials and has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for youth and adults with OCD. 


What are the costs for participating in the study? 

Study treatment (TMS and ERP) will be provided by the study at no cost. Participants will be compensated for their time when completing assessments.  


Is the study binding? 

Participation is completely voluntary! Even after signing the consent form, participants can always change their mind and withdraw from the study at any time. 


Where will study activities occur? 

Treatment (TMS and ERP) will take place at the Butler Hospital Neuromodulation Clinic in Providence, RI. Brain scans (MRIs) will take place at the Brown University MRI facility in Providence, RI. Interviews and questionnaires can be completed remotely. 


How long does the study last? 

The main portion of the study (treatment and assessments) takes about 3 weeks to complete. The final study assessment takes place one month after treatment and can be completed remotely.  

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