A clinical trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in autism spectrum disorder

We are currently conducting research to investigate whether a potential new intervention could be useful for people on the autism spectrum.

This intervention is called transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.

TMS is a safe and non-invasive means of stimulating nerve cells in a particular part of the brain via the administration of brief magnetic pulses. TMS has been developed for a range of conditions, including depression.

150 people (aged 14-40 years) will take part in this study, which is being conducted throughout Australia. There are sites in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Participants will be recruited from around Australia, but primarily the greater metropolitan regions within these five cities. Please note that we have now completed recruitment at the Melbourne site and cannot enrol new Melbourne-based participants.

This research is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia through a Medical Research Future Fund grant (MRFF RCRDUN Neurological Disorders 2020; Application APP1199298). It is due for completion in October 2025.

The study is being conducted by researchers and clinicians from the following institutions:

  • Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ)
  • Deakin University
  • Monash University
  • Murdoch University
  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia