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Brain Sci. 2017, 7(4), 34; doi:10.3390/brainsci7040034

A Neurophysiological Perspective on a Preventive Treatment against Schizophrenia Using Transcranial Electric Stimulation of the Corticothalamic Pathway

1
INSERM U1114, Neuropsychologie Cognitive et Physiopathologie de la Schizophrénie, Strasbourg F-67085, France
2
Unistra, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg F-67000, France
3
Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg (FMTS), Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg F-67085, France
Academic Editors: Tipu Aziz and Alex Green
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Applications)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1577 KB, uploaded 28 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Schizophrenia patients are waiting for a treatment free of detrimental effects. Psychotic disorders are devastating mental illnesses associated with dysfunctional brain networks. Ongoing brain network gamma frequency (30–80 Hz) oscillations, naturally implicated in integrative function, are excessively amplified during hallucinations, in at-risk mental states for psychosis and first-episode psychosis. So, gamma oscillations represent a bioelectrical marker for cerebral network disorders with prognostic and therapeutic potential. They accompany sensorimotor and cognitive deficits already present in prodromal schizophrenia. Abnormally amplified gamma oscillations are reproduced in the corticothalamic systems of healthy humans and rodents after a single systemic administration, at a psychotomimetic dose, of the glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonist ketamine. These translational ketamine models of prodromal schizophrenia are thus promising to work out a preventive noninvasive treatment against first-episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia. In the present essay, transcranial electric stimulation (TES) is considered an appropriate preventive therapeutic modality because it can influence cognitive performance and neural oscillations. Here, I highlight clinical and experimental findings showing that, together, the corticothalamic pathway, the thalamus, and the glutamatergic synaptic transmission form an etiopathophysiological backbone for schizophrenia and represent a potential therapeutic target for preventive TES of dysfunctional brain networks in at-risk mental state patients against psychotic disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal model; gamma frequency oscillations; glutamate; ketamine; network synchrony; N-methyl-d-aspartate; psychosis; sleep spindles; thalamic reticular nucleus; thalamus animal model; gamma frequency oscillations; glutamate; ketamine; network synchrony; N-methyl-d-aspartate; psychosis; sleep spindles; thalamic reticular nucleus; thalamus
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pinault, D. A Neurophysiological Perspective on a Preventive Treatment against Schizophrenia Using Transcranial Electric Stimulation of the Corticothalamic Pathway. Brain Sci. 2017, 7, 34.

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