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How electrical stimulation reorganizes the brain

June 10, 2019

Recordings of neural activity during therapeutic stimulation can be used to predict subsequent changes in brain connectivity, according to a study of epilepsy patients published in JNeurosci. This approach could inform efforts to improve brain stimulation treatments for depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Corey Keller and colleagues delivered electrical stimulation from implanted electrodes in 14 patients while recording participants' brain activity. Repeated sets of stimulation resulted in progressive changes to the brain's response to simulation, with stronger responses in brain regions connected to the stimulation site. The researchers observed these changes in a matter of minutes, suggesting that electrical stimulation induces the brain to rapidly reorganize itself.

Assessing brain activity before, during, and after simulation has the potential to personalize neuromodulation therapies. Whether these results will translate to non-invasive techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, and to other patient populations remains to be determined.
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Manuscript title: Intracortical Dynamics Underlying Repetitive Stimulation Predicts Changes in Network Connectivity*

*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on bioRxiv

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

Society for Neuroscience

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