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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Depression & Transcranial Electric Stimulation Therapy (TEST)

Join a Research Study: Enrolling nationally from around the country

To find out if you qualify, email the study team ( or call 301-435-0885 [TTY: 711].

Researchers are testing a new type of non-invasive brain stimulation treatment to see if it is safe and potentially helpful to treat depression symptoms.

You may be eligible to participate if you are:

  • Currently depressed (with Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder) and have continued to feel depressed even after two different treatment attempts.
  • Between 25 and 64 years old
  • In otherwise stable medical health

If you are currently taking medication, you may still be eligible.

This is an inpatient study that will last at least 5 weeks. Participation may include:

  • Transcranial Electric Stimulation Therapy (TEST) or a Placebo Intervention
  • Brain imaging
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • General anesthesia
  • Blood tests
  • Cognitive testing

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. There is no cost to participate, and compensation is provided. This study enrolls eligible participants from across the USA. Travel arrangements are provided, and costs are covered by the NIMH (arrangements vary by distance). After completing the inpatient portion of the study, participants receive short-term follow-up care at the NIH while transitioning back to a provider.  There is a 6-month outpatient follow up phase of the study that does not require visits to NIH.

To find out if you qualify, email the study team ( or call 301-435-0885 [TTY: 711].

Study Identifiers

  • NIMH Protocol Number: 21-M-0031
  • Study Number: 05172271 

Investigator(s): Sarah Lisanby, M.D.