Neurofeedback to Improve Working Memory in Schizophrenia

2017-08-24 18:53:22 | BioPortfolio


Schizophrenia affects 2.4 million Americans and causes significant individual and societal costs. Cognitive deficits including poor working memory arise early in the course of illness, account for poor long-term outcomes and have been difficult to treat with available treatments. The investigators are proposing to develop a novel, computer-based brain training to improve working memory in schizophrenia patients, which, if successful could have significant personal, societal, and economic impact.


Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a chronic debilitating mental disorder that affects 2.4 million Americans and leads to considerable individual and societal costs. In patients with SCZ, cognitive deficits (CD) occur early in the course of the illness, are associated with more severe illness, and are the best predictor of functional outcomes. Nonetheless, to date, CD have been difficult to treat using available treatments. Recent studies suggest CD in patients with SCZ may arise from abnormal synchronization of distributed neural networks. Synchronization or synchronous firing of neurons, binds cortical areas into functional networks in a task and state-dependent manner. Thus novel therapies that improve abnormal neural synchrony may improve previously refractory symptoms arising from disordered brain networks.

Neural synchrony or coherence in the gamma band (GBR, 30-45Hz) plays a central role in top-down attention, multisensory processing, perceptual binding and working memory (WM). Patients with SCZ exhibit abnormal GBR, and the magnitude of impairment is associated with the severity of cognitive disorganization. Given these results, improving GBR should improve CD, including WM in SCZ. This hypothesis has been tested and confirmed using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Additionally, EEG-based neurofeedback (NFB) is hypothesized to improve GBR and cognitive function in patients with SCZ. NFB is a low-cost, easily administered and well-tolerated treatment. In healthy controls, Gamma-NFB improves GBR and cognitive function including WM. Thus, the investigators propose testing the feasibility and effectiveness of improving GBR using gamma-NFB in patients with SCZ using the framework of the R61/R33 mechanism.

The first trial (R61) is a proof-of-concept study designed to assess target engagement and dose response curve. Thirty SCZ patients will receive G-NFB training for 12 weeks (2 weekly sessions of 30minute duration) and be assessed for 1) evidence of training, 2) Change in GBR, 3) Change in WM and 4) Change in community functioning. The second trial (R33) aims to confirm target engagement based on training parameters obtained from R61, and to assess whether G-NFB is superior to an active-placebo neurofeedback intervention in improving GBR, WM and community functioning.

Study Design






Not yet recruiting


University of California, San Diego

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-08-24T18:53:22-0400

Clinical Trials [1263 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

EEG-based Neurofeedback for Auditory Verbal Hallucinations (HALFEED)

This study's primary objective is to perform a randomized controlled pilot study to assess the feasibility of using EEG-based neurofeedback to reduce the severity of treatment-resistant au...

Rt-fMRI Neurofeedback and AH in Schizophrenia

Auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia are one of the major symptoms of this disease and a major source of psychological discomfort. They are often difficult or impossible to treat with ...

Neurofeedback Training for High Risk Psychosis

Young people who are at great risk for developing psychosis have cognitive deficits which are strongly related to functioning in the community. This study looks to target a specific cognit...

HAptic Neurofeedback Design for Stroke

Interventional study with minimal risks and constraints, prospective, monocentric.

Symptom Based Treatment Affects Brain Plasticity - Cognitive Training in Patients With Affective Symptoms

The aim of the study is the examination of brain plasticity on on affective symptoms after neuromodulation with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) neurofeedback. During the fMRI ...

PubMed Articles [712 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Genome-wide Association of Endophenotypes for Schizophrenia From the Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) Study.

The Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) uses quantitative neurophysiological and neurocognitive endophenotypes with demonstrated deficits in schizophrenia as a platform from which to ex...

Positive light on schizophrenia and aging: Commentary on course and predictors of symptomatic remission in schizophrenia: A 5-year follow-up study in a Dutch psychiatric catchment area, by Lange et al.

Sex-specific effects of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms on schizophrenia with methylation changes.

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is the critical enzyme in biotransformation. The polymorphism of MTHFR is a risk factor for schizophrenia. However, whether the MTHFR polymorphism is associ...

Altered neural basis of self-reflective processing in schizophrenia: An fMRI study.

Impaired self-awareness has often been described in schizophrenia. Recent neuroimaging studies examining the self-reflection processes in schizophrenia have produced inconsistent results.

Use of antidepressants and mood stabilizers in persons with first-episode schizophrenia.

Antipsychotics are first-line treatment of schizophrenia. They are often accompanied by adjunctive treatments, such as antidepressant (AD) or mood stabilizer (MS), although there is only limited infor...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A chronic form of schizophrenia characterized primarily by the presence of persecutory or grandiose delusions, often associated with hallucination.

A type of schizophrenia characterized by abnormality of motor behavior which may involve particular forms of stupor, rigidity, excitement or inappropriate posture.

An obsolete concept, historically used for childhood mental disorders thought to be a form of schizophrenia.

A technique to self-regulate brain activities provided as a feedback in order to better control or enhance one's own performance, control or function. This is done by trying to bring brain activities into a range associated with a desired brain function or status.

A type of schizophrenia characterized by frequent incoherence; marked loosening of associations, or grossly disorganized behavior and flat or grossly inappropriate affect that does not meet the criteria for the catatonic type; associated features include extreme social withdrawal, grimacing, mannerisms, mirror gazing, inappropriate giggling, and other odd behavior. (Dorland, 27th ed)

More From BioPortfolio on "Neurofeedback to Improve Working Memory in Schizophrenia"

Quick Search

Relevant Topics

Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention.  Conditions include schizophrenia, severe depression and panic disorders among others. There are pharmaceutical treatments as well as other therapies to help...

Schizophrenia is a common  serious long-term mental health condition that affects 5 in 1000 in the UK. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms; hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions and ch...

Searches Linking to this Trial