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Activity or connectivity? A randomized controlled feasibility study evaluating neurofeedback training in Huntington's disease

Papoutsi, M; Magerkurth, J; Josephs, O; Pépés, SE; Ibitoye, T; Reilmann, R; Hunt, N; ... Tabrizi, SJ; + view all (2020) Activity or connectivity? A randomized controlled feasibility study evaluating neurofeedback training in Huntington's disease. Brain Communications 10.1093/braincomms/fcaa049. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Non-invasive methods, such as neurofeedback training, could support cognitive symptom management in Huntington’s disease by targeting brain regions whose function is impaired. The aim of our single-blind, sham-controlled study was to collect rigorous evidence regarding the feasibility of neurofeedback training in Huntington’s disease by examining two different methods, activity and connectivity real-time functional MRI neurofeedback training. Thirty-two Huntington’s disease gene-carriers completed 16 runs of neurofeedback training, using an optimized real-time functional MRI protocol. Participants were randomized into four groups, two treatment groups, one receiving neurofeedback derived from the activity of the supplementary motor area, and another receiving neurofeedback based on the correlation of supplementary motor area and left striatum activity (connectivity neurofeedback training), and two sham control groups, matched to each of the treatment groups. We examined differences between the groups during neurofeedback training sessions and after training at follow-up sessions. Transfer of training was measured by measuring the participants’ ability to upregulate neurofeedback training target levels without feedback (near transfer), as well as by examining change in objective, a-priori defined, behavioural measures of cognitive and psychomotor function (far transfer) before and at 2 months after training. We found that the treatment group had significantly higher neurofeedback training target levels during the training sessions compared to the control group. However, we did not find robust evidence of better transfer in the treatment group compared to controls, or a difference between the two neurofeedback training methods. We also did not find evidence in support of a relationship between change in cognitive and psychomotor function and learning success. We conclude that although there is evidence that neurofeedback training can be used to guide participants to regulate the activity and connectivity of specific regions in the brain, evidence regarding transfer of learning and clinical benefit was not robust.

Type: Article
Title: Activity or connectivity? A randomized controlled feasibility study evaluating neurofeedback training in Huntington's disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/braincomms/fcaa049
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa049
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) (2020). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Neurofeedback training, neuroplasticity, Huntington’s disease, real-time fMRI
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > EDI Craniofacial and Development Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097202
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