Neuromodulation in symptoms and social functioning of schizophrenic patients: pilot clinical trial

Paloma Cavalcante Bezerra de Medeiros1; Michael Jackson Oliveira de Andrade2; Ana Raquel de Oliveira1; Jéssica Bruna Santana Silva2; Emerson Diógenes de Medeiros1; Natanael Antonio dos Santos3

1Universiadde Federal do Piauí. ;2 Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais ;3 Universidade Federal da Paraíba

OBJECTIVE: Effects of ETCC on negative symptoms and social functioning of schizophrenics.

METHODS: pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Ten schizophrenic patients were randomly assigned to two GE1-active stimulation groups [N = 5; mean age 39.4 (9.55)] and GE2 - sham [N = 5; mean age 41.2 (7.29)]. Instruments used: negative symptoms subscale (PANSS) and personal and social performance scale (PSP). Ten sessions of ETCC were carried out, with 20 minutes daily, current of 2mA. Anode fixed between PF1 and F3, and cathode between P3 and T3. In GE2 the assembly was identical, but with no electric current emission.

RESULTS: As for the negative symptoms, the GE1 after the intervention (T2) has a higher score compared to its baseline (T1) and at T3 (follow up / 1 month after the intervention) it returns the initial score. The GE2 decreases the score at moments T2 and T3. The Wilcoxon test shows no significant difference between groups over time, nor does Friedman's ANOVA in the intra-group comparison. In PSP, GE1 shows an improvement in T2, but the score in T3 decreases again. The GE2 showed progressive improvement after the intervention. The Wilcoxon test points out that GE1 and GE2 do not differ significantly at each point in the experiment. Like Friedman's ANOVA, there is no difference in the intragroup analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Hypotheses have not been statistically confirmed, which suggests the need for further studies in order to gather more evidence on the effects of the technique on the symptoms and social functioning of schizophrenics.

KEYWORDS: Schizophrenia; Neuromodulation; Negative symptoms; Social functioning