Special Issue "Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ulrich Palm
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany; Medical Park Chiemseeblick, Bernau, Felden, Germany
Interests: non-invasive brain stimulation; transcranial direct current stimulation; depressive disorder; cognition; multiple sclerosis fatigue
Dr. Moussa Antoine Chalah
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Henri-Mondor Hospital, Créteil, France; University Paris-Est, France
Interests: neurosciences; multiple sclerosis; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); Transcranial Direct- Current Stimulation (tDCS)
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Samar S. Ayache
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
EA4391 Excitabilité Nerveuse & Therapeutique, Université Paris Est Créteil, 94010, Creteil, France;
Neurophysiology Department, Henri Mondor Hospital, 94010, Créteil, France.
Interests: multiple sclerosis; MS fatigue; MS pain; neurophysiology; evoked potentials; electroencephalography; non-invasive brain stimulation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Non-invasive brain stimulation methods have emerged as diagnostic and therapeutic tools over the recent years.

This special issue aims at gathering pre-clinical and clinical data on brain stimulation techniques (electrical and magnetic stimulation methods).

This special issue compiles newest research on clinical and neurophysiological application of brain stimulation methods and the impact of brain stimulation on imaging outcomes, neurobiological markers, and clinical variables (including neurological, affective and cognitive measures).

We are encouraging to submit review articles, case reports and case series, pilot studies, and randomized controlled clinical trials.

Dr. Ulrich Palm
Dr. Moussa Antoine Chalah
Dr. Samar S. Ayache
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • non-invasive brain stimulation
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • transcranial electrical stimulation
  • imaging
  • cognition
  • neurophysiology

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Extradural Motor Cortex Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease: Long-Term Clinical Outcome
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(4), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11040416 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Previous investigations have reported on the motor benefits and safety of chronic extradural motor cortex stimulation (EMCS) for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but studies addressing the long-term clinical outcome are still lacking. In this study, nine consecutive PD patients who underwent EMCS [...] Read more.
Previous investigations have reported on the motor benefits and safety of chronic extradural motor cortex stimulation (EMCS) for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but studies addressing the long-term clinical outcome are still lacking. In this study, nine consecutive PD patients who underwent EMCS were prospectively recruited, with a mean follow-up time of 5.1 ± 2.5 years. As compared to the preoperatory baseline, the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS)-III in the off-medication condition significantly decreased by 13.8% at 12 months, 16.1% at 18 months, 18.4% at 24 months, 21% at 36 months, 15.6% at 60 months, and 8.6% at 72 months. The UPDRS-IV decreased by 30.8% at 12 months, 22.1% at 24 months, 25% at 60 months, and 36.5% at 72 months. Dopaminergic therapy showed a progressive reduction, significant at 60 months (11.8%). Quality of life improved by 18.0% at 12 months, and 22.4% at 60 months. No surgical complication, cognitive or behavioral change occurred. The only adverse event reported was an infection of the implantable pulse generator pocket. Even in the long-term follow-up, EMCS was shown to be a safe and effective treatment option in PD patients, resulting in improvements in motor symptoms and quality of life, and reductions in motor complications and dopaminergic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of 10 Hz and 20 Hz tACS in Network Integration and Segregation in Chronic Stroke: A Graph Theoretical fMRI Study
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(3), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11030377 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) has emerged as a promising technique to non-invasively modulate the endogenous oscillations in the human brain. Despite its clinical potential to be applied in routine rehabilitation therapies, the underlying modulation mechanism has not been thoroughly understood, especially for [...] Read more.
Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) has emerged as a promising technique to non-invasively modulate the endogenous oscillations in the human brain. Despite its clinical potential to be applied in routine rehabilitation therapies, the underlying modulation mechanism has not been thoroughly understood, especially for patients with neurological disorders, including stroke. In this study, we aimed to investigate the frequency-specific stimulation effect of tACS in chronic stroke. Thirteen chronic stroke patients underwent tACS intervention, while resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected under various frequencies (sham, 10 Hz and 20 Hz). The graph theoretical analysis indicated that 20 Hz tACS might facilitate local segregation in motor-related regions and global integration at the whole-brain level. However, 10 Hz was only observed to increase the segregation from whole-brain level. Additionally, it is also observed that, for the network in motor-related regions, the nodal clustering characteristic was decreased after 10 Hz tACS, but increased after 20 Hz tACS. Taken together, our results suggested that tACS in various frequencies might induce heterogeneous modulation effects in lesioned brains. Specifically, 20 Hz tACS might induce more modulation effects, especially in motor-related regions, and they have the potential to be applied in rehabilitation therapies to facilitate neuromodulation. Our findings might shed light on the mechanism of neural responses to tACS and facilitate effectively designing stimulation protocols with tACS in stroke in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
Visual Cortex Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Patients: A Double-Blinded Randomized Exploratory Trial
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(2), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020270 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a severe complication of diabetes. PDR-related retinal hemorrhages often lead to severe vision loss. The main goals of management are to prevent visual impairment progression and improve residual vision. We explored the potential of transcranial direct current stimulation [...] Read more.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a severe complication of diabetes. PDR-related retinal hemorrhages often lead to severe vision loss. The main goals of management are to prevent visual impairment progression and improve residual vision. We explored the potential of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to enhance residual vision. tDCS applied to the primary visual cortex (V1) may improve visual input processing from PDR patients’ retinas. Eleven PDR patients received cathodal tDCS stimulation of V1 (1 mA for 10 min), and another eleven patients received sham stimulation (1 mA for 30 s). Visual acuity (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) scores) and number acuity (reaction times (RTs) and accuracy rates (ARs)) were measured before and immediately after stimulation. The LogMAR scores and the RTs of patients who received cathodal tDCS decreased significantly after stimulation. Cathodal tDCS has no significant effect on ARs. There were no significant changes in the LogMAR scores, RTs, and ARs of PDR patients who received sham stimulation. The results are compatible with our proposal that neuronal noise aggravates impaired visual function in PDR. The therapeutic effect indicates the potential of tDCS as a safe and effective vision rehabilitation tool for PDR patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
Cognitive Improvement Effects of Electroacupuncture Combined with Computer-Based Cognitive Rehabilitation in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(12), 984; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120984 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 457
Abstract
This outcome assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trial investigated the effects of electroacupuncture combined with computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (EA-CCR) on mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A per-protocol analysis was employed to compare the efficacy of EA-CCR to that of computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (CCR). Thirty-two patients [...] Read more.
This outcome assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trial investigated the effects of electroacupuncture combined with computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (EA-CCR) on mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A per-protocol analysis was employed to compare the efficacy of EA-CCR to that of computer-based cognitive rehabilitation (CCR). Thirty-two patients with MCI completed the trial (EA-CCR group, 16; CCR group, 16). Patients received EA-CCR or CCR treatment once daily three days per week for eight weeks. Outcome (primary, ADAS-K-cog; secondary, MoCA-K, CES-D, K-ADL, K-IADL, and EQ-5D-5L) measurements were performed at baseline (week 0), at the end of the intervention (week 8), and at 12 weeks after completion of the intervention (week 20). Both groups showed significant changes in ADAS-K-cog score (EA-CCR, p < 0.001; CCR, p < 0.001) and MoCA-K (EA-CCR, p < 0.001; CCR, p < 0.001). Only the EA-CCR group had a significant change in CES-D (p = 0.024). No significant differences in outcomes and in the results of a subanalysis based on age were noted between the groups. These results indicate that EA-CCR and CCR have beneficial effects on improving cognitive function in patients with MCI. However, electroacupuncture in EA-CCR showed no positive add-on effects on improving cognitive function, depression, activities of daily living, and quality of life in patients with MCI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
Emotional Components of Pain Perception in Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depression—A Repetitive Peripheral Magnetic Stimulation (rPMS) Study
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(12), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10120905 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Various studies suggested alterations in pain perception in psychiatric disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and major depression (MD). We previously investigated affective components of pain perception in BPD compared to healthy controls (HC) by increasing aversive stimulus intensities using repetitive peripheral [...] Read more.
Various studies suggested alterations in pain perception in psychiatric disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and major depression (MD). We previously investigated affective components of pain perception in BPD compared to healthy controls (HC) by increasing aversive stimulus intensities using repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation (rPMS) and observed alterations in emotional rather than somatosensory components in BPD. However, conclusions on disorder specific alterations in these components of pain perception are often limited due to comorbid depression and medication in BPD. Here, we compared 10 patients with BPD and comorbid MD, 12 patients with MD without BPD, and 12 HC. We applied unpleasant somatosensory stimuli with increasing intensities by rPMS and assessed pain threshold (PT), cutaneous sensation, emotional valence, and arousal by a Self-Assessments Manikins scale. PTs in BPD were significantly higher compared to HC. The somatosensory discrimination of stimulus intensities did not differ between groups. Though elevated rPMS intensities led to increased subjective aversion and arousal in MD and HC, these emotional responses among intensity levels remained unchanged in BPD. Our data give further evidence for disorder-specific alterations in emotional components of pain perception in BPD with an absent emotional modulation among varying aversive intensity levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
Low Intensity, Transcranial, Alternating Current Stimulation Reduces Migraine Attack Burden in a Home Application Set-Up: A Double-Blinded, Randomized Feasibility Study
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(11), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110888 - 21 Nov 2020
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Background: Low intensity, high-frequency transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) applied over the motor cortex decreases the amplitude of motor evoked potentials. This double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study aimed to test the efficacy of this method for acute management of migraines. Methods: The patients [...] Read more.
Background: Low intensity, high-frequency transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) applied over the motor cortex decreases the amplitude of motor evoked potentials. This double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study aimed to test the efficacy of this method for acute management of migraines. Methods: The patients received either active (0.4 mA, 140 Hz) or sham stimulation for 15 min over the visual cortex with the number of terminated attacks two hours post-stimulation as the primary endpoint, as a home therapy option. They were advised to treat a maximum of five migraine attacks over the course of six weeks. Results: From forty patients, twenty-five completed the study, sixteen in the active and nine in the sham group with a total of 102 treated migraine attacks. The percentage of terminated migraine attacks not requiring acute rescue medication was significantly higher in the active (21.5%) than in the sham group (0%), and the perceived pain after active stimulation was significantly less for 2–4 h post-stimulation than after sham stimulation. Conclusion: tACS over the visual cortex has the potential to terminate migraine attacks. Nevertheless, the high drop-out rate due to compliance problems suggests that this method is impeded by its complexity and time-consuming setup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Open AccessArticle
Noisy Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (Stochastic Resonance) Changes Electroencephalography Activities and Postural Control in Patients with Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(10), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10100740 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
Patients with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) often suffer from imbalance, gait problems, and oscillopsia. Noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS), a technique that non-invasively stimulates the vestibular afferents, has been shown to enhance postural and walking stability. However, no study has investigated how it [...] Read more.
Patients with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) often suffer from imbalance, gait problems, and oscillopsia. Noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS), a technique that non-invasively stimulates the vestibular afferents, has been shown to enhance postural and walking stability. However, no study has investigated how it affects stability and neural activities while standing and walking with a 2 Hz head yaw turning. Herein, we investigated this issue by comparing differences in neural activities during standing and walking with a 2 Hz head turning, before and after noisy GVS. We applied zero-mean gaussian white noise signal stimulations in the mastoid processes of 10 healthy individuals and seven patients with BVH, and simultaneously recorded electroencephalography (EEG) signals with 32 channels. We analyzed the root mean square (RMS) of the center of pressure (COP) sway during 30 s of standing, utilizing AMTI force plates (Advanced Mechanical Technology Inc., Watertown, MA, USA). Head rotation quality when walking with a 2 Hz head yaw, with and without GVS, was analyzed using a VICON system (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd., Oxford, UK) to evaluate GVS effects on static and dynamic postural control. The RMS of COP sway was significantly reduced during GVS while standing, for both patients and healthy subjects. During walking, 2 Hz head yaw movements was significantly improved by noisy GVS in both groups. Accordingly, the EEG power of theta, alpha, beta, and gamma bands significantly increased in the left parietal lobe after noisy GVS during walking and standing in both groups. GVS post-stimulation effect changed EEG activities in the left and right precentral gyrus, and the right parietal lobe. After stimulation, EEG activity changes were greater in healthy subjects than in patients. Our findings reveal noisy GVS as a non-invasive therapeutic alternative to improve postural stability in patients with BVH. This novel approach provides insight to clinicians and researchers on brain activities during noisy GVS in standing and walking conditions in both healthy and BVH patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Frontal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation as a Potential Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease-Related Fatigue
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(4), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11040467 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 246
Abstract
In contrast to motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often poorly recognized and inadequately treated. Fatigue is one of the most common non-motor symptoms in PD and affects a broad range of everyday activities, causes disability, and substantially reduces the [...] Read more.
In contrast to motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often poorly recognized and inadequately treated. Fatigue is one of the most common non-motor symptoms in PD and affects a broad range of everyday activities, causes disability, and substantially reduces the quality of life. It occurs at every stage of PD, and once present, it often persists and worsens over time. PD patients attending the 2013 World Parkinson Congress voted fatigue as the leading symptom in need of further research. However, despite its clinical significance, little progress has been made in understanding the causes of Parkinson’s disease-related fatigue (PDRF) and developing effective treatment options, which argues strongly for a greater effort. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a technique to non-invasively modulate cortical excitability by delivering low electrical currents to the cerebral cortex. In the past, it has been consistently evidenced that tDCS has the ability to induce neuromodulatory changes in the motor, sensory, and cognitive domains. Importantly, recent data present tDCS over the frontal cortex as an effective therapeutic option to treat fatigue in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). The current opinion paper reviews recent data on PDRF and the application of tDCS for the treatment of fatigue in neuropsychiatric disorders to further develop an idea of using frontal anodal tDCS as a potential therapeutic strategy to alleviate one of the most common and severe non-motor symptoms of PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
Open AccessReview
Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Field as a Stress Factor—Really Detrimental?—Insight into Literature from the Last Decade
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(2), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11020174 - 31 Jan 2021
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Biological effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) and its consequences on human health have become the subject of important and recurrent public debate. ELF-MF evokes cell/organism responses that are characteristic to a general stress reaction, thus it can be regarded as a [...] Read more.
Biological effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) and its consequences on human health have become the subject of important and recurrent public debate. ELF-MF evokes cell/organism responses that are characteristic to a general stress reaction, thus it can be regarded as a stress factor. Exposure to ELF-MF “turns on” different intracellular mechanisms into both directions: compensatory or deleterious ones. ELF-MF can provoke morphological and physiological changes in stress-related systems, mainly nervous, hormonal, and immunological ones. This review summarizes the ELF-MF-mediated changes at various levels of the organism organization. Special attention is placed on the review of literature from the last decade. Most studies on ELF-MF effects concentrate on its negative influence, e.g., impairment of behavior towards depressive and anxiety disorders; however, in the last decade there was an increase in the number of research studies showing stimulating impact of ELF-MF on neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation. In the face of numerous studies on the ELF-MF action, it is necessary to systematize the knowledge for a better understanding of the phenomenon, in order to reduce the risk associated with the exposure to this factor and to recognize the possibility of using it as a therapeutic agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Stimulation and Neuroplasticity)
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