Brain Stimulation May Improve Cognitive Performance in Those With Schizophrenia

The researchers applied tDCS with tasks which specifically tapped into ‘working memory’ and ‘executive functioning’: the principle was that ‘training’ the brain in regions that are typically poorly performing in schizophrenia would be enhanced by the brain stimulation technique.

Dr Natasza Orlov, first author from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, said: ‘It’s critical that we address some of the cognitive deficits seen in people with schizophrenia, as these determine how people do in real world settings, such as work and relationships.

Professor Sukhwinder Shergill, senior author from the IoPPN at King’s College London, said: ‘Our study is the first of its kind and confirms that tDCS may help with some aspects of cognitive deterioration in patients with schizophrenia. Given the lack of treatments in this area, this is enormously important. Our brain imaging data is also helping to understand how this is happening, which will support future research in this field.’

Source: Publication in & Jack Stonebridge – King’s College London

Image Source: image is adapted from the King’s College London news release.
Original Research: Full open access research for “Stimulating thought: a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of transcranial direct current stimulation in schizophrenia” by Natasza D. Orlov, Owen O’Daly, Derek K. Tracy, Yusuf Danij, John Hodsoll, Lorena Valdearenas, John Rothwell, and Sukhi S. Shergill in Brain. Published online July 24 doi:10.1093/brain/awx170