Pre-mapping Networks for Brain Stimulation

Project Aims
The term affective disorders include disorders in which significant changes in mood, including periods of depression or mania, preponderate over a more stable mood range. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a new method that can help most patients to whom conventional medicines and therapies are not effective. Although TMS is already used as a promising treatment method, its effect on those brain networks that are disrupted in depression or mania is scarcely researched. The purpose of the e:Med Research Group for the project Pre-mapping Networks for Brain Stimulation (PreNeSt) is to systematically examine the changes in these brain networks caused by TMS interventions and thereby lead to a better understanding of its mechanisms of action.

Work planning
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), relevant brain networks are initially identified and analyzed in healthy subjects. The distribution of these networks should vary slightly from person to person. Therefore, each individual brain scan collected will provide us with the chance of specifically aligning the TMS application to the individual and ensuring optimal stimulation. Following the TMS stimulation of particular regions of interest within the network, we use fMRI to re-examine local and global neural changes implicated in the reconfiguration of the networks. In a second phase of the project, the insights from the initial phase will be transferred to the investigation and implementation of individualized, network-based TMS stimulation in patients with affective disorders.

Keywords: affective, depression, mania, brain, stimulation, therapy, networks, fMRI, disorder, psychiatry, psychiatric, manic, depressive, TMS, mapping, image


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