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Effect of Physical Activity on Auditory Sensory Gating in Chronic Schizophrenia

Author(s): Hsin-Yung Chen, Pei-Jin Jiang, Pei-Ying Sarah Chan, Huang-Ju Chi, Yuh-Chuan Chen

Schizophrenia (SCZ) is associated with diminished gating components in auditory processing. The hippocampus is one of the brain regions functionally altered in SCZ and plays a crucial role in the modulation of auditory processing. Although physical activity (PA) is beneficial for hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive function in SCZ, its effect on auditory processing has been rarely studied. The auditory-paired stimulus paradigm with a binaural pure tone was presented on each side, and time-voltage domain responses were qualified with evoked potential under conditions before, during, and after PA as well as at follow-up. Gating ratios were compared between 10 patients with four phases of chronic SCZ (SCZ, n=10) and a group of age- and sex-matched healthy controls (Ctrl, n=10) to determine whether moderate PA influenced sensory gating in this crossover study. An inherent deficit in the P50 gating ratio was found in a baseline comparison between SCZ and Ctrl groups. However, the P50 gating ratio improved during and after PA in the SCZ group. In an intragroup comparison of SCZ, PA application significantly improved N100 gating, both during and after PA. The results of this study suggest the beneficial effect of PA in improving sensory gating in SCZ.

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