Navigation Links
Tickling the brain with magnetic stimulation improves memory in schizophrenia
Date:3/12/2013

Philadelphia, PA, March 12, 2013 Cognitive impairments are disabling for individuals with schizophrenia, and no satisfactory treatments currently exist. These impairments affect a wide range of cognition, including memory, attention, verbal and motor skills, and IQ. They appear in the earliest stages of the disease and disrupt or even prevent normal day-to-day functioning.

Scientists are exploring a variety of strategies to reduce these impairments including "exercising the brain" with specially designed computer games and medications that might improve the function of brain circuits.

In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, Dr. Mera Barr and her colleagues at University of Toronto provide new evidence that stimulating the brain using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may be an effective strategy to improve cognitive function.

"In a randomized controlled trial, we evaluated whether rTMS can improve working memory in schizophrenia," said Barr and senior author Dr. Zafiris Daskalakis. "Our results showed that rTMS resulted in a significant improvement in working memory performance relative to baseline."

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. It does not require sedation or anesthesia and so patients remain awake, reclined in a chair, while treatment is administered through coils placed near the forehead.

"TMS can have lasting effects on brain circuit function because this approach not only changes the activity of the circuit that is being stimulated, but it also may change the plasticity of that circuit, i.e., the capacity of the circuit to remodel itself functionally and structurally to support cognitive functions," explained Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Previous work has shown that rTMS improves working memory in healthy individuals and a recent open-label trial showed promising findings for verbal memory in schizophrenia patients. This series of findings led this study to determine if high frequency rTMS could improve memory in individuals with schizophrenia.

They recruited medicated schizophrenia patients who completed a working memory task before and after 4 weeks of treatment. Importantly, this was a double-blind study, where neither the patients nor the researchers knew who was receiving real rTMS or a sham treatment that was designed to entirely mimic the procedure without actually delivering brain stimulation.

rTMS not only improved working memory in patients after 4 weeks, but the improvement was to a level comparable to healthy subjects. These findings suggest that rTMS may be a novel, efficacious, and safe treatment for working memory deficits in schizophrenia.

In 2008, rTMS was FDA-approved to treat depression for individuals who don't respond to pharmacotherapy. The hope is that additional research will replicate these findings and finally provide an approved treatment for cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.

The authors concluded: "Working memory is an important predictor of functional outcome. Developing novel treatments aimed at improving these deficits may ultimately translate into meaningful changes in the lives of patients suffering from this debilitating disorder."


'/>"/>
Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Oxfords Gero Miesenböck is awarded The Brain Prize 2013 for his pioneering work on optogenetics
2. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can kill brain tissue
3. Researchers discover workings of brains GPS system
4. How the bodys energy molecule transmits 3 types of taste to the brain
5. 1 region, 2 functions: Brain cells multitasking key to understanding overall brain function
6. Brain adds cells in puberty to navigate adult world
7. Adding to the list of disease-causing proteins in brain disorders
8. Rain Man-like brains mapped at UCSF
9. CETS offers new method to help simplify the study of brain pathologies
10. Brown unveils novel wireless brain sensor
11. Ability of brain to protect itself from damage revealed
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... public,s help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be the biggest ... human body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study to date ... project's goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the role of ... The ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) ... international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase ... value in various industries. France ... the international market, with a 30 percent increase in the ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Rosalindâ„¢, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers ... honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity ... for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced ... network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will ... to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education ... professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and are ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: