, Volume 112, Issue 7, pp 955-967
Date: 27 Oct 2004

Changes in negative symptoms and EEG in schizophrenic patients after repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS): an open-label pilot study

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The effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on schizophrenic negative symptoms (NS) and EEG topography were investigated in this pilot study.

10 patients with predominant NS were treated with 10 Hz rTMS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for 5 days. For NS ratings, the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) was used. Both ratings and EEG recordings were obtained pre- and post-rTMS. Electrical activity changes were computed by Low Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography.

SANS showed an improvement after rTMS, from 49.0 (SD: 10.7) to 44.7 (SD: 11.8) (means). EEG frequency bands were changed fronto-temporally (right) and were mainly decreases in delta- and beta- and increases in alpha1-activity, as well as decreases in beta-activity in the temporal and parieto-occipital regions (left).

Although we are aware of the limitations of this study, we assume a slight improvement in NS. The EEG findings refer to a possible neurophysiologic correlate of their improvement after rTMS.