Category: Schizophrenia / Psychotic Disorders

Symposium

Using Neurophysiologic Biomarkers to Personalize the Provision of Cognitive Remediation in Serious Mental Illness

Saturday, November 18
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom I & J, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Severe Mental Illness | Neurocognitive Therapies | Neuroscience
Presentation Type: Symposium

Cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses (SMIs), and these deficits impair psychosocial functioning. Recent advances in neuroscience have led to a new wave of behavioral interventions that aim to enhance cognition by exercising physiologic mechanisms known to stimulate cortical neuroplasticity. One such “neuroplasticity-based” intervention – Targeted Cognitive Training (TCT; www.brainhq.com) – emphasizes “bottom-up” tuning of auditory perceptual processes while simultaneously engaging attention and working memory operations.  TCT has demonstrated preliminary efficacy for modifying the frontotemporal cortical dynamics subserving both basic perceptual processes and higher-order cognitive operations in SMI. Nevertheless, despite the robust cognitive improvements observed at the group level, nearly half of TCT participants fail to derive meaningful benefit from the intervention, underscoring the need to identify early predictors of therapeutic response.  EEG biomarkers that directly assay neural activity may provide a precise and reliable estimation of benefit from interventions like TCT that specifically target clinically-relevant neural circuits. This presentation will review data from an ongoing randomized trial intended to examine the utility of the mismatch negativity (MMN), a well-validated auditory EEG biomarker thought to index frontotemporal “plasticity potential,” for predicting TCT-induced cognitive change. To this end, this presentation will discuss whether: 1) change in cognition after a therapeutic “dose” of TCT corresponds to changes in MMN amplitude and/or latency; 2) early MMN malleability predicts later cognitive enhancement from TCT; and 3) implementation of EEG measurement as an adjunct to computerized cognitive training in a community setting is both feasible for clinicians and tolerable to participants.  

Melissa Tarasenko

Psychologist
VA San Diego

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