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Towards using microstate-neurofeedback for the treatment of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. A feasibility study in healthy participants


Diaz Hernandez, Laura; Rieger, Kathryn; Baenninger, Anja; Brandeis, Daniel; Koenig, Thomas (2016). Towards using microstate-neurofeedback for the treatment of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. A feasibility study in healthy participants. Brain Topography, 29(2):308-321.

Abstract

Spontaneous EEG signal can be parsed into sub-second periods of stable functional states (microstates) that assumingly correspond to brief large scale synchronization events. In schizophrenia, a specific class of microstate (class "D") has been found to be shorter than in healthy controls and to be correlated with positive symptoms. To explore potential new treatment options in schizophrenia, we tested in healthy controls if neurofeedback training to self-regulate microstate D presence is feasible and what learning patterns are observed. Twenty subjects underwent EEG-neurofeedback training to up-regulate microstate D presence. The protocol included 20 training sessions, consisting of baseline trials (resting state), regulation trials with auditory feedback contingent on microstate D presence, and a transfer trial. Response to neurofeedback was assessed with mixed effects modelling. All participants increased the percentage of time spent producing microstate D in at least one of the three conditions (p < 0.05). Significant between-subjects across-sessions results showed an increase of 0.42 % of time spent producing microstate D in baseline (reflecting a sustained change in the resting state), 1.93 % of increase during regulation and 1.83 % during transfer. Within-session analysis (performed in baseline and regulation trials only) showed a significant 1.65 % increase in baseline and 0.53 % increase in regulation. These values are in a range that is expected to have an impact upon psychotic experiences. Additionally, we found a negative correlation between alpha power and microstate D contribution during neurofeedback training. Given that microstate D has been related to attentional processes, this result provides further evidence that the training was to some degree specific for the attentional network. We conclude that microstate-neurofeedback training proved feasible in healthy subjects. The implementation of the same protocol in schizophrenia patients may promote skills useful to reduce positive symptoms by means of EEG-neurofeedback.

Abstract

Spontaneous EEG signal can be parsed into sub-second periods of stable functional states (microstates) that assumingly correspond to brief large scale synchronization events. In schizophrenia, a specific class of microstate (class "D") has been found to be shorter than in healthy controls and to be correlated with positive symptoms. To explore potential new treatment options in schizophrenia, we tested in healthy controls if neurofeedback training to self-regulate microstate D presence is feasible and what learning patterns are observed. Twenty subjects underwent EEG-neurofeedback training to up-regulate microstate D presence. The protocol included 20 training sessions, consisting of baseline trials (resting state), regulation trials with auditory feedback contingent on microstate D presence, and a transfer trial. Response to neurofeedback was assessed with mixed effects modelling. All participants increased the percentage of time spent producing microstate D in at least one of the three conditions (p < 0.05). Significant between-subjects across-sessions results showed an increase of 0.42 % of time spent producing microstate D in baseline (reflecting a sustained change in the resting state), 1.93 % of increase during regulation and 1.83 % during transfer. Within-session analysis (performed in baseline and regulation trials only) showed a significant 1.65 % increase in baseline and 0.53 % increase in regulation. These values are in a range that is expected to have an impact upon psychotic experiences. Additionally, we found a negative correlation between alpha power and microstate D contribution during neurofeedback training. Given that microstate D has been related to attentional processes, this result provides further evidence that the training was to some degree specific for the attentional network. We conclude that microstate-neurofeedback training proved feasible in healthy subjects. The implementation of the same protocol in schizophrenia patients may promote skills useful to reduce positive symptoms by means of EEG-neurofeedback.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:04 Feb 2016 15:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0896-0267
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-015-0460-4
PubMed ID:26582260

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