High-Frequency Transcranial Random Noise Stimulation Modulates Gamma-Band EEG Source-Based Large-Scale Functional Network Connectivity in Patients with Schizophrenia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham-Controlled Clinical Trial

Ta Chuan Yeh, Cathy Chia Yu Huang, Yong An Chung, Jooyeon Jamie Im, Yen Yue Lin, Chin Chao Ma, Nian Sheng Tzeng, Hsin An Chang

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schizophrenia is associated with increased resting-state large-scale functional network connectivity in the gamma frequency. High-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (hf-tRNS) modulates gamma-band endogenous neural oscillations in healthy individuals through the application of low-amplitude electrical noises. Yet, it is unclear if hf-tRNS can modulate gamma-band functional connectivity in patients with schizophrenia. We performed a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial to contrast hf-tRNS (N = 17) and sham stimulation (N = 18) for treating negative symptoms in 35 schizophrenia patients. Short continuous currents without neuromodulatory effects were applied in the sham group to mimic real-stimulation sensations. We used electroencephalography to investigate if a five-day, twice-daily hf-tRNS protocol modulates gamma-band (33–45 Hz) functional network connectivity in schizophrenia. Exact low resolution electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA) was used to compute intra-cortical activity from regions within the default mode network (DMN) and fronto-parietal network (FPN), and functional connectivity was computed using lagged phase synchronization. We found that hf-tRNS reduced gamma-band within-DMN and within-FPN connectivity at the end of stimulation relative to sham stimulation. A trend was obtained between the change in within-FPN functional connectivity from baseline to the end of stimulation and the improvement of negative symptoms at the one-month follow-up (r = −0.49, p = 0.055). Together, our findings suggest that hf-tRNS has potential as a network-level approach to modulate large-scale functional network connectivity pertaining to negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1617
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • electroencephalography
  • functional connectivity
  • negative symptoms
  • schizophrenia
  • transcranial random noise stimulation

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