Borderline Personality Disorder
Research Study

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles are conducting a study on the treatment of borderline personality disorder with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).

Fast Facts

Borderline Personality Disorder

18-65 Years Old

Compensation Provided

Conducted in Los Angeles, CA

Study Background

Does rTMS affect impulsivity and emotional regulation in the brains of people with borderline personality disorder?

rTMS is a noninvasive type of brain stimulation in which a magnetic field is used to create a low-level electrical current aimed at a specific part of the brain. In this research study, we’ll analyze the effect of rTMS on a part of the brain called the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to see if it affects impulsivity and emotional regulation in people with borderline personality disorder (BPD).¬†

If you are eligible to participate, you will come to the UCLA campus to complete brain scans and receive the rTMS treatment. Some participants will receive active treatment and some will receive a sham (fake) treatment. If you are in the sham group, you will have the option to receive active treatment afterwards.

Eventually, we hope that the findings of this study might be useful for treating symptoms of BPD and improving people’s quality of life.

Study Background

Does rTMS affect impulsivity and emotional regulation in the brains of people with borderline personality disorder?

rTMS is a noninvasive type of brain stimulation in which a magnetic field is used to create a low-level electrical current aimed at a specific part of the brain. In this research study, we’ll analyze the effect of rTMS on a part of the brain called the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to see if it affects impulsivity and emotional regulation in people with borderline personality disorder (BPD).¬†

If you are eligible to participate, you will come to the UCLA campus to complete brain scans and receive the rTMS treatment. Some participants will receive active treatment and some will receive a sham (fake) treatment. If you are in the sham group, you will have the option to receive active treatment afterwards.

Eventually, we hope that the findings of this study might be useful for treating symptoms of BPD and improving people’s quality of life.

Additional Information

The study is conducted to examine the efficacy of rTMS treatment on impulsivity and emotional regulation in individuals with borderline personality disorder.

You may qualify for a study if you meet the following criteria.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18-65 years old
  • Meet criteria for borderline personality disorder
  • Have not been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder or bipolar disorder
  • Able to undergo MRI/TMS scan (no metal in the body, no claustrophobia)
  • No significant alcohol or drug use
  • Speak English
  • No suicidal ideation

The study involves two visits, each taking about 1.5 hours. If eligible, participants will complete the following:

  1. Virtual visit – Consent and evaluation via Zoom.
  2. In-person visit – Participant will complete:
    • two (2) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) recordings
    • two (2) brain activity recordings, also known as electroencephalograph (EEG) recordings
    • fifteen (15) sessions of TMS treatment
    • answer symptom assessments
    • perform cognitive behavioral tasks on a computer¬†

Some participants will receive sham TMS treatments, meaning inactive treatments, so that we can make sure any observed differences are not due to the placebo effect. If you receive sham treatments, you will be eligible to cross over and enroll in an open-label extension phase of the trial in which you will receive up to 15 active treatments.

As a participant, you can receive up to $200 for your time and effort. Parking vouchers are provided for in-person visits.

There is no cost for you to participate in our research study.