Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improves Procedural Learning in Nonclinical Psychosis: A Double-Blind Crossover Study.

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Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Improves Procedural Learning in Nonclinical Psychosis: A Double-Blind Crossover Study.

Schizophr Bull. 2018 10 17;44(6):1373-1380

Authors: Gupta T, Dean DJ, Kelley NJ, Bernard JA, Ristanovic I, Mittal VA

Abstract
The present double-blind crossover study examines the effects of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in controls and in an analogue population to psychosis: individuals reporting elevated symptoms of nonclinical psychosis (NCP). A total of 18 controls and 24 NCP individuals were randomized into conditions consisting of 25 minutes of anodal (active) or sham cerebellar tDCS. Following this, both groups completed a pursuit rotor task designed to measure procedural learning performance. Participants then returned 1-week later and received the corresponding condition (either active or sham) and repeated the pursuit rotor task. Results indicate that in the sham condition, control participants showed significantly greater rates of motor learning when compared with the NCP group. In the active condition, the NCP group exhibited significant improvements in the rate of motor learning and performed at a level that was comparable to controls; these data support the link between cerebellar dysfunction and motor learning. Taken together, tDCS may be a promising treatment mechanism for patient populations and a useful experimental approach in elucidating our understanding of psychosis.

PMID: 29301026 [PubMed – in process]