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P300 Analysis Using High-Density EEG to Decipher Neural Response to rTMS in Patients With Schizophrenia and Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

P300 Analysis Using High-Density EEG to Decipher Neural Response to rTMS in Patients With Schizophrenia and Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

Romain Aubonnet, Ovidiu Constantin Banea, Roberta Sirica, Eric M. Wassermann, Sahar Yassine, Deborah Jacob, Brynja Björk Magnúsdóttir, Magnús Haraldsson, Sigurjon B. Stefansson, Viktor D. Jónasson, Eysteinn Ívarsson, Aron D. Jónasson, et al.
Frontiers in Neuroscience

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder about which much is still unknown. Potential treatments, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), have not been exploited, in part because of the variability in behavioral response. This can be overcome with the use of response biomarkers. It has been however shown that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can the relieve positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). This exploratory work aims to establish a quantitative methodological tool, based on high-density electroencephalogram (HD-EEG) data analysis, to assess the effect of rTMS on patients with schizophrenia and AVH. Ten schizophrenia patients with drug-resistant AVH were divided into two groups: the treatment group (TG) received 1 Hz rTMS treatment during 10 daily sessions (900 pulses/session) over the left T3-P3 International 10-20 location. The control group (CG) received rTMS treatment over the Cz (vertex) EEG location. We used the P300 oddball auditory paradigm, known for its reduced amplitude in schizophrenia with AVH, and recorded high-density electroencephalography (HD-EEG, 256 channels), twice for each patient: pre-rTMS and 1 week post-rTMS treatment. The use of HD-EEG enabled the analysis of the data in the time domain, but also in the frequency and source-space connectivity domains. The HD-EEG data were linked with the clinical outcome derived from the auditory hallucinations subscale (AHS) of the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale (PSYRATS), the Quality of Life Scale (QoLS), and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS). The general results show a variability between subjects, independent of the group they belong to. The time domain showed a higher N1-P3 amplitude post-rTMS, the frequency domain a higher power spectral density (PSD) in the alpha and beta bands, and the connectivity analysis revealed a higher brain network integration (quantified using the participation coefficient) in the beta band. Despite the small number of subjects and the high variability of the results, this work shows a robust data analysis and an interplay between morphology, spectral, and connectivity data. The identification of a trend post-rTMS for each domain in our results is a first step toward the definition of quantitative neurophysiological parameters to assess rTMS treatment.

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Authors: Romain Aubonnet • Ovidiu Constantin Banea • Roberta Sirica • Eric M. Wassermann  • Sahar Yassine • Deborah Jacob • Brynja Björk Magnúsdóttir • Magnús Haraldsson • Sigurjon B. Stefansson • Viktor D. Jónasson • Eysteinn Ívarsson • Aron D. Jónasson • Mahmoud Hassan • Paolo Gargiulo

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