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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.

Author information

1
Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Translational Psychiatry Laboratory, Neurobiology Research Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

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

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