High-Frequency Transcranial Random Noise Stimulation over the Left Prefrontal Cortex Increases Resting-State EEG Frontal Alpha Asymmetry in Patients with Schizophrenia

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reduced left-lateralized electroencephalographic (EEG) frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA), a biomarker for the imbalance of interhemispheric frontal activity and motivational disturbances, represents a neuropathological attribute of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Unidirectional high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (hf-tRNS) can increase the excitability of the cortex beneath the stimulating electrode. Yet, it is unclear if hf-tRNS can modulate electroencephalographic FAA in patients with schizophrenia. We performed a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial to contrast hf-tRNS and sham stimulation for treating negative symptoms in 35 schizophrenia patients. We used electroencephalography to investigate if 10 sessions of hf-tRNS delivered twice-a-day for five consecutive weekdays would modulate electroencephalographic FAA in schizophrenia. EEG data were collected and FAA was expressed as the differences between common-log-transformed absolute power values of frontal right and left hemisphere electrodes in the alpha frequency range (8–12.5 Hz). We found that hf-tRNS significantly increased FAA during the first session of stimulation (p = 0.009) and at the 1-week follow-up (p = 0.004) relative to sham stimulation. However, FAA failed to predict and surrogate the improvement in the severity of negative symptoms with hf-tRNS intervention. Together, our findings suggest that modulating electroencephalographic frontal alpha asymmetry by using unidirectional hf-tRNS may play a key role in reducing negative symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1667
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • electroencephalography
  • frontal alpha asymmetry
  • negative symptoms
  • schizophrenia
  • transcranial random noise stimulation

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