Efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia
Departmental Research Seminar
Dr. LEE Ho Ming, Edwin
Dr. SUEN Yi Nam
24 September 2020
Impairments of attention and memory are evident in psychosis even in early phase of illness, and are associated with functional disability. In a group of stable, medicated patients with psychosis, we explored whether participating in a non-invasive brain stimulation intervention (transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS) improved cognitive functions, clinical symptoms and social functioning. Patients with psychosis were invited to join a 6-week randomized controlled study of 10 active tDCS or 5 active tDCS sessions compared with control group (10 sham tDCS sessions). The primary outcomes were cognitive functions. Secondary outcome measures were the severity of psychotic and depressive symptoms, and social functioning. Both 10 active and 5 active tDCS groups demonstrated significant improvements in short-term memory and executive function when compared with the control group. However, there were no significant changes in other domains of cognitive function, clinical symptoms and social functioning. The application of tDCS as adjunctive treatments for cognitive enhancement in psychosis is worthwhile to be considered in view of its potential benefit in short-term memory and executive function and relatively free of side effects. This study was supported by RGC funding (17102616)by the University Grants Committee, Hong Kong.
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