Tuning noninvasive brain stimulation with MRI to cope with intersubject variability

Habich, Annegret; Canals, Santiago; Klöppel, Stefan (2016). Tuning noninvasive brain stimulation with MRI to cope with intersubject variability. Current opinion in neurology, 29(4), pp. 453-458. Wolters Kluwer Health 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000353

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW The review aims at highlighting the additional benefit that can be gained from combining noninvasive brain stimulation as well as repetitive sensory stimulation protocols with MRI techniques to account for the intersubject variability observed in those treatments. Potentially, this should help to identify predictive patterns in the individual receptiveness to the treatment. RECENT FINDINGS Knowledge about the underlying physiological principles of excitability changes as induced by noninvasive brain stimulation or repetitive sensory stimulation is accumulating, revealing strong associations with plasticity processes at the synaptic level. In this context, MRI techniques, such as magnetic resonance spectroscopy and functional MRI, emerged as valuable tools for the qualitative assessment of baseline states and induced changes. Those physiological readouts can help explain the interindividual heterogeneity found in behavioural and/or clinical responses to the specific stimulation protocols. This knowledge will eventually translate, first, into the preliminary classification of study participants into treatment groups according to their neurophysiological baseline state and expected responses to a particular stimulation. Subsequently, this should also aid the optimization of stimulation protocols according to the classification outcome, resulting in retuned protocols for particular groups of study participants. SUMMARY The consistent MRI-based monitoring of stimulation effects in the neural network promises a considerable gain for the customization of intervention protocols with improved therapeutic potential and rehabilitative predictions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Habich, Annegret and Klöppel, Stefan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Wolters Kluwer Health




Katharina Klink

Date Deposited:

24 May 2017 09:16

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2017 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






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