Effects of Brain Stimulation on Cognition in Schizophrenia

Effects of Brain Stimulation on Cognition, Oscillations and GABA Levels in Schizophrenia

The purpose of this study is to use a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), to test a set of hypotheses about the role of the prefrontal cortex in behavioral and neural correlates of cognition in schizophrenia. Behavioral, electrophysiological (EEG) and neuroimaging measures will be used to assess cognitive performance. This study has three main goals: (1) To compare the effects of task-engaged versus resting tDCS in order to optimize the impact of tDCS on goal maintenance related neural oscillatory activity and task performance in schizophrenia; (2) To establish the regional specificity of the impact of DLPFC tDCS (compared to Occipital tDCS) effects on brain circuitry underlying goal maintenance in schizophrenia; (3) To examine relationships between tDCS effects on DLPFC GABA levels, DLPFC-related oscillatory activity and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. This study is solely intended as basic research in order to understand brain function in healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia. This study is not intended to diagnose, cure or treat schizophrenia or any other disease.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Device - Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

In tDCS, saline-soaked electrodes are temporary affixed to the scalp and connected to a battery-powered current generator. A weak (2 mA) constant current is then briefly applied (~20 minutes) to stimulate the targeted brain area (e.g. the DLPFC). To control for placebo effects, the study will utilize a sham stimulation protocol that consists of very brief constant stimulation (~1 minute). Subjects usually cannot discern the difference between the sham and experimental stimulation protocols due t more on

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Studies of Cognition, Oscillations and GABA Levels in Schizophrenia