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By watching this display the subject receives feedback about his or her cortical activity and learns to control it.Feedback on the screen is given separately for each of the EEG frequency bands that are of interest according to the clinical diagnosis.
Considering these encouraging results, neurofeedback should be examined as an intervention specifically addressing the reduction of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. These were the research questions: Two patients participated in this study.
One patient was female, 45-year old, former bank clerk and in retirement, since over 15 years diagnosed with ICD-10 schizophrenia, residual type (F 20.5). Currently, positive symptoms had remitted under medication (Abilify 15 mg 1 × 1 and Topamax 2 × 1).
First-generation neuroleptics and brain stimulation had no statistically significant effects (Fusar-Poli et al. Repetitive TMS is still under examination, however, and cognitive behavioral as well as related treatments are not accepted equally by all patients.
It should also be considered that, at least in some cases, psychological training has to be continued over extensive periods of time. (In neurofeedback, the cortical activity of the brain is registered by EEG and after data processing the activity of the various frequency bands is displayed on a computer screen.
Both patients continued medication during neurofeedback treatment.
Inclusion criteria were (1) a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, (2) marked negative symptoms, and (3) good compliance.Negative symptoms of schizophrenia, like diminished emotional expression and a dearth of self-initiated behavior do not respond reliably to anti-psychotic medication or to conventional psychotherapeutic approaches.Starting from evidence on the probable neural basis of such symptoms and on the effectiveness of neurofeedback with other psychological disorders, the present case study applied 20 sessions of EEG neurofeedback to a 45-year-old female and a 30-year-old male, both diagnosed with severe negative symptoms of schizophrenia.The second participant was a 30-year old male, former university student, diagnosed with ICD-10 Schizophrenia, Residual Type (F 20.5) for 7 years.He had been hospitalized three times and also had remitted under medication (Abilify 25 mg 1 × 1).Attention can be described at the cerebral level as the inhibition of irrelevant information.The activity of the alpha band (i.e., frequencies ranging from 8 to 12 Hz) in EEG has been shown to be closely related to attentional processes (Klimesch ) found increased delta activity over the fronto-temporal and at the parieto-occipital regions and an increased theta activity in the frontal as well as in the parieto-occipital regions in patients with schizophrenia. () suggested attentional deficits to be associated with increased theta (4–8 Hz) activity in the fronto-central, temporal, and parieto-occipital lobe of the cortex and with dysregulation of slow cortical potentials (SCP), i.e., the oscillations, on which the EEG is modulated. () examined gender differences in patients with schizophrenia measuring the amplitude, mean frequency and relative power of the different frequency bands by QEEG.The male patient had terminated his post-high school education due to the illness and was not able to pursue a regular employment any longer due to his negative symptoms.Social contact was reduced in both patients but both of them have been integrated well into their families.From the participants of an inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation program at the Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum Halberg/Saarbrücken, Germany, who met these criteria, the two participants were selected at random by their psychiatrist at the clinic (i.e., the fourth author of this paper).The age of initial manifestation was 22 years for the male patient and 23 years for the female patient.