Effects of tDCS on Visual Neuroplasticity in Schizophrenia.

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Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Visual Neuroplasticity in Schizophrenia.

Abstract
People with schizophrenia (SZ) exhibit visual processing abnormalities that affect their daily functioning and remediating these deficits might help to improve functioning. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a potential tool for perceptual enhancement for this purpose, though there are no reports of tDCS applied to visual cortex in SZ. In a within-subject, crossover design, we evaluated the effects of tDCS on visual processing in 27 SZ. All patients received anodal, cathodal, or sham stimulation over the central occipital region in 3 visits separated by 1 week. In each visit, a backward masking task and an electroencephalography measure of visual neuroplasticity were administered after tDCS. Neuroplasticity was assessed with visual evoked potentials before and after tetanizing visual high-frequency stimulation. Masking performance was significantly poorer in the anodal and cathodal conditions compared with sham. Both anodal and cathodal stimulation increased the amplitude of P1 but did not change the plasticity index. We found significant plasticity effects of tDCS for only one waveform for one stimulation condition (P2 for anodal tDCS) which did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. The reason for the lack of tDCS stimulation effects on plasticity may be because tDCS was not delivered simultaneously with the tetanizing visual stimulus. The present findings emphasize the need for more research on the relevant parameters for stimulation of visual processing regions in clinical populations.

PMID: 32463701 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Clin EEG Neurosci. 2020 May 28;:1550059420925697

Authors: Jahshan C, Wynn JK, Roach BJ, Mathalon DH, Green MF

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