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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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Update on Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation for Reducing Hallucinations

Initial reports of long-lasting reduction of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) following non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) identified an exciting novel treatment for a major debilitating symptom of psychosis. In particular, the success in medication-resistant individuals signified a potential therapeutic breakthrough. Since the first reports, there have been both successful and unsuccessful trials of NIBS for AVH. This symposium will present the state of the art for this intervention, and discuss whether it is a viable treatment option. Philip Corlett will discuss the interplay between prior experience/beliefs and current sensory activity, and indicate areas where transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) NIBS attenuates AVH. Philipp Homan will present data indicating inter-individual variability in the target zones for successful NIBS for AVH. Renaud Jardri will indicate multimodal patterns of pathophysiology selective for successful NIBS of AVH. Brian Coffman will present data showing down-modulation of AVH and up-modulation of cognition following trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Robert Thoma will describe network level changes in cortical dynamics after tDCS NIBS for AVH. Finally, the panel and audience will engage in a discussion of the merits of NIBS for treatment of AVH, given the somewhat equivocal reports, in light of the new approaches to maximizing treatment effect.

Dean F Salisbury
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


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