Cerebral blood flow identifies responders to transcranial magnetic stimulation in auditory verbal hallucinations

P. Homan, J. Kindler, M. Hauf, D. Hubl, T. Dierks

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52 Scopus citations


Auditory hallucinations comprise a critical domain of psychopathology in schizophrenia. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has shown promise as an intervention with both positive and negative reports. The aim of this study was to test resting-brain perfusion before treatment as a possible biological marker of response to repetitive TMS. Twenty-four medicated patients underwent resting-brain perfusion magnetic resonance imaging with arterial spin labeling (ASL) before 10 days of repetitive TMS treatment. Response was defined as a reduction in the hallucination change scale of at least 50%. Responders (n=9) were robustly differentiated from nonresponders (n=15) to repetitive TMS by the higher regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) (P<0.05, corrected) before treatment. Resting-brain perfusion in the left STG predicted the response to repetitive TMS in this study sample, suggesting this parameter as a possible bio-marker of response in patients with schizophrenia and auditory hallucinations. Being noninvasive and relatively easy to use, resting perfusion measurement before treatment might be a clinically relevant way to identify possible responders and nonresponders to repetitive TMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere189
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • arterial spin labeling
  • auditory verbal hallucinations
  • cerebral blood flow
  • schizophrenia
  • superior temporal gyrus
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation


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