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Indian J Psychol Med. 2017 Sep-Oct;39(5):691-694. doi: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_238_17.

Neural Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Schizophrenia: A Case Study using Functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy.

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Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA.
Department of Psychiatry and Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.


Schizophrenia is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, behavioral symptoms, and cognitive deficits. Roughly, 70%-80% of schizophrenia patients experience auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs), with 25%-30% demonstrating resistance to conventional antipsychotic medications. Studies suggest a promising role for add-on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in the treatment of medication-refractory AVHs. The mechanisms through which tDCS could be therapeutic in such cases are unclear, but possibly involve neuroplastic effects. In recent years, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has been used successfully to study tDCS-induced neuroplastic changes. In a double-blind, sham-controlled design, we applied fNIRS to measure task-dependent cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes as a surrogate outcome of single session tDCS-induced effects on neuroplasticity in a schizophrenia patient with persistent auditory hallucinations. The observations are discussed in this case report.


Auditory signal detection; functional near-infrared spectroscopy; schizophrenia; transcranial direct current stimulation

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