john herr psychologist los gatos saratoga california

On Sabbatical


General News

Depression treatment summary

A grand summary of the results of the TMS treatment in depression survey has been compiled by Dr David Avery and Dr Mark George.

Pictures from the Interlaken meeting

Marty Szuba mailed me a couple of pictures from the TMS 1997 meeting in Interlaken. Click on the little pics to see a larger version.

Research fellowship available

The Yale Department of Psychiatry is looking for a fellow for the study of OCD and Affective Disorders. The department has a rich tradition in the clinical study of the serotonin system in these disorders. Additionally, an active rTMS program is developing, to be employed in both of these illnesses. Interested trainees should contact Rob Berman, MD.

Survey of TMS parameters

Dr David Avery writes: At the Interlaken meeting, I thought it would be useful for all of us who are testing TMS in the treatment of depression to find out what parameters other researchers are using (and what parameters are not being tested). I am compiling a database of these parameters and will share the database. I think that about 17 groups have used or are about to use TMS in depression. The database should facilitate communcation and allow our field to determine safe and effective parameters more rapidly. I was unable to contact all the researchers at the meeting so we will have to rely on email to gather this information. I have chosen some variables which are of interest. If anyone thinks other variables should be added, please let me know. Those of you who have not contacted me, please send me information about the following variables:

Intensity (% motor threshold); frequency (Hz); train duration; intertrain interval; trains per session; number of sessions; total number of pulses; EMG monitoring during stimulation; location of stimulation; machine used (Cadwell,Magstim, Dantec); coil type; type of depression; controlled study?; general design; are subjects drug free? neuropsych testing? MRI? EEG? fMRI? SPECT? PET?

Depression study published

Professor Alvaro Pascual-Leone's team have published their double-blind trial of rTMS at various sites in depression in the Lancet, reporting a reduction in self-rated and clinician-rated symptoms after stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. See the table below for more details, and the article itself for the whole story (Lancet 1996;348:233-238).

Summary of TMS / rTMS in depression

A recent review by Kirkcaldie, Pridmore and Pascual-Leone (ANZ J Psychiatry 1997;31:264-272) outlines the progress of clinical trials of TMS in depression. A tabular summary of the articles reviewed is here.


Click the links in the Interests column to read more.

Institution Location Contact Interests
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, North Carolina Eric Bastings Brain plasticity after stroke, mapping; we are also trying to develop a depression study group.
Human Cortical Physiology Unit NIH, Maryland USA Leonardo G. Cohen Brain plasticity, TMS
Psychiatric Neuroimaging Group University Hospital, Bern A/Prof Thomas Schl├Ąpfer Geriatric depression, cellular activation, psychophysics
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre MA, USA A/Prof Alvaro Pascual-Leone Depression, functional mapping, cortical excitation
Sheba Medical Centre Israel Prof Leon Grunhaus Depression; TMS-ECT comparisons
The BioMag Institute Finland Dr Risto Ilmoniemi Multichannel stimulation; MEG
Yale University CT, USA Dr Rob Berman Depression
National Institute of Health MD, USA Dr Eric Wassermann Various
Medical University of South Carolina SC, USA Dr Mark George Depression, mapping, imaging
Royal Edinburgh Hospital Scotland, UK Dr Klaus Ebmeier Depression
TMS-POD Australia Prof Saxby Pridmore Depression, cellular effects


Reports and announcements concerning conferences on TMS have been collected on a special conference page.

Main Introduction News Conferences Articles Technical WWW sites Contacts

Constructed by Matthew Kirkcaldie, PhD student at the University of Tasmania.

On Sabbatical!

When my office lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a "sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh

Copyright 1998-2007  John J. Herr, Ph.D.                                   Please send comments to