Neuroplasticity-based brain stimulation interventions in the study and treatment of schizophrenia: a review

Tarek K Rajji, Nigel Craig Rogasch, Zafiris Jeff Daskalakis, Paul Bernard Fitzgerald

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23 Citations (Scopus)


We reviewed novel brain stimulation approaches that modify neuroplasticity and are used in the treatment and study of schizophrenia. We searched PubMed and Scholars Portal using search terms related to schizophrenia, brain stimulation, and neuroplasticity. Various brain stimulation approaches simulating a range of experimental protocols that induce synaptic long-term potentiation or depression have been developed. By far, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been the most widely used in the field of schizophrenia. Its application has been associated with mixed results in treating treatment-resistant symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Compared to the other approaches, rTMS is probably the least similar to plasticity-inducing cellular paradigms. Other approaches, such as paired associative stimulation, theta-burst stimulation, and transcranial direct current stimulation, are in their incipient stages in the study and treatment of schizophrenia, with promising early results. Numerous brain stimulation approaches have been developed to treat resistant dimensions of schizophrenia. Notwithstanding some promising reports, optimization of the methods and large randomized controlled trials are still needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93 - 98
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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